ROSE HILL — Collegiate's football team has heard the questions about its young team and the comparisons to the Spartans' Class 3A title team of 2009.
Those comparisons can stop. The Spartans proved with a 28-15 win at Rose Hill on Saturday that they're a talented team in their own right.
All that youth and inexperience played with poise both in the first half Friday night before lightning forced the game to be suspended, and when the second half began Saturday.
"We knew this was going to be a test for us," said Collegiate coach Bill Messamore, whose team is 2-0 and plays Wellington on Friday. "How were we going to come in here?... I thought we executed well."
Collegiate had a 21-0 lead after three first-quarter touchdowns by sophomore quarterback Markus Phox, and came into Saturday's second half with a 21-8 lead.
Phox added a fourth touchdown when he scored midway through the final period on a 9-yard run. He finished with 145 rushing yards, 120 passing.
"Markus is a great quarterback," Collegiate junior Myles Copeland said. "He can develop plays out of nothing. If anything goes bad, he can scramble around and he'll develop something and get it to the end zone or a first down."
Phox added: "You see every touchdown I scored, you'll see someone out in front of me blocking or making a big hit, leading me into the end zone."
Collegiate's defense held its own, but not until after Rose Hill cut the lead to 21-15 when it capped a 10-play, 64-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run by LaQua Mayes.
After that, though, Collegiate forced a fumble, an interception and a punt.
"Our defensive line closed every time like we needed them to," said Copeland, who recovered the fumble. "Our backers filled every time and bounced to the outside. Our cornerbacks came in and stopped them."
The loss dropped Rose Hill to 0-2
"We have to clean some things up," said Rose Hill coach Greg Slade, whose team plays Andale, ranked first in Class 4A, on Friday.
Collegiate (2-0, 2-0) 21 0 0 7 — 28 Rose Hill (0-1, 0-2) 0 8 7 0 — 15
C—Phox 2 run (Lowden kick)
C—Phox 55 run (Lowden kick)
C—Phox 11 run (Lowden kick)
RH—Anderson 19 pass from Decker (Streeter run)
RH—Mayes 2 run (Knight kick)
C—Phox 9 run (Lowden kick)
Rushing—Collegiate, Phox 22-145, Taylor 14-49, Franklin 4-23. Rose Hill, Decker 15-76, Mayes 14-35, Pearson 3-11, Vaughan 2-9, Lewis 1-5.
Passing—Collegiate, Phox 13-20-120-0. Rose Hill, Decker 9-16-91-2.
Receiving—Collegiate, W. Short 4-55, Schooler 3-27, Taylor 2-17, F. Short 3-15, Adams 1-6. Rose Hill, Braddy 3-45, Anderson 2-20, Vaughan 2-17, Mayes 1-9.