ROSE HILL — Rose Hill’s Laque Mayes rushed for 166 yards and three touchdowns in the Rockets’ 20-7 victory over Wichita Trinity to open Class 4A-District 12 play Friday night. But it was the way Mayes ran — making defenders miss and exploding through even the tiniest of holes — that made his performance even more eye-popping.
“Laque can do some special things,” said Rose Hill coach Greg Slade. “He can explode and cut on his feet as good as anybody.”
Since starting quarterback Tyler Shirley was injured two weeks ago, the Rockets have gone to a predominantly run-oriented offense.
“I tried to use my speed and shiftiness a lot,” Mayes said. “But the offensive line opened up holes for me and tried to find those holes.”
Four of the Rockets’ offensive linemen were bigger than the largest Trinity lineman.
Often times, Rose Hill’s front five pushed the Knights defensive line into the second level. The Rockets ran for 301 yards as a team.
“We told our offensive line that we are going to run all night,” Slade said. “I think the fact that we did that kind of wore down Trinity’s defense in the second half.”
As dominating as the Rose Hill offense was in the first half — gaining 141 yards to Trinity’s 40 — it missed at least two golden scoring opportunities.
On back-to-back possessions, the Rockets had the ball inside Trinity’s 10-yard line, but Hayes’ fumbled and quarterback Derrick Decker threw an interception.
“I thought we did some nice things in the first half but shot ourselves in the foot,” Slade said. “We talked at halftime about being more disciplined in the second half and I thought we did that.”
Mayes first score came from 33 yards on the Rockets’ first drive in the second half. He ran another one in on their next series from two yards.
Trinity scored on its only trip into Rose Hill territory with 8:40 remaining, when Morgan Burns scored from 32 yards.
It was the only time Burns, who was averaging 166 yards per game, got free from the Rockets’ defense. He finished with 73 yards on 20 carries.
“We played hard and we thought we had a chance there in the fourth quarter,” Trinity coach Mike Kriwiel said. “I made some calls that weren’t good and didn’t put us in position. I feel bad for the kids.”
Hayes put the finishing touches on his night with perhaps his most exciting run.
After avoiding several tackles, Hayes ran from one side of the field to the other before, literally, dragging his final would-be tackler into the endzone for a 19-yard score.
Wichita Trinity (4-3, 0-1) 0 0 7 7 —14
Rose Hill (6-1, 1-0) 0 0 13 7 —20
RH—Mayes 33 run (kick failed)
RH—Mayes 2 run (kick failed)
T—Burns 32 run (Brewer kick)
RH—Mayes 19 run (Knight kick)
Rushing—Trinity, Burns 20-73, Kessinger 4-22, Kriwiel 8-3, Brewer 1(-1). Rose Hill, Mayes 26-166, Decker 12-93, Mitchell 4-24, Vaughan 2-16, Lewis 2-2.
Passing—Trinity, Kriwiel 3-6-(-2)-1, Burns 0-1-0-0. Rose Hill, Decker 4-8-28-1.
Receiving—Trinity, Kennedy 1-6, Burns 1-(-3), Kessinger 1-(-5). Rose Hill, Train 2-15, Leabo 1-7, Rapp 1-6.