ROSE HILL — Facing a team on a five-game win streak, the Rose Hill football game plan was simple — take the momentum early.
By scoring on their first four possessions, the Rockets had no trouble with that as they rolled past Andale 41-14 in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs Saturday night. It was the second time Rose Hill beat the Indians this season.
"(Andale) came out and had a tough go, then they came out and won five games in a row," Rose Hill coach Greg Slade said. "One of the things we talked to the kids about in the three days we had was, take care of business in the beginning. We had to come out and get after it from the get-go."
Led by senior quarterback Derrick Decker and junior running back Jonny Pearson, Rose Hill (10-1) did just that. The backfield combination sliced through the Andale defense for 207 rushing yards in the first half. The 35-0 lead at halftime was due to Decker's three rushing scores and two for Pearson. Decker made it 28-0 early in the second quarter on a 4-yard run, set up by Pearson's 51-yard punt return.
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"We pretty much told ourselves we have to come out and dominate from the beginning," Pearson said. "We just didn't want to give them life."
The Rockets' first half proved to be too much for Andale (5-6) to overcome. In the second half the Indians were able to mount drives of 53 and 93 yards, ending with a touchdown run by Jonah Ungles and a 20-yard pass by backup quarterback Clay Kear to Ben Seiler.
The win moves Rose Hill into the quarterfinals and a road game Friday at Ulysses.
"We knew (Andale) was definitely a different team," Pearson said of the difference from the first time they played Andale. "We knew we had to put them away early."
Andale0 0 7 7 — 14 Rose Hill21 14 6 0 — 41
RH—Pearson 6 run (Knight kick)
RH—Decker 48 run (Knight kick)
RH—Pearson 18 run (Knight kick)
RH—Decker 4 run (Knight kick)
RH—Decker 13 run (Knight kick)
RH—Knight 22 field goal
A—Ungles 2 run (Cote kick)
RH—Knight 24 field goal
A—Kear 20 pass to Seiler (Cote kick)
Rushing — Andale, Horsch 12-80, Smarsh 10-56, Ungles 8-28, Harp 3-14, Armstrong 1-7, Jones 1-4, Eck 1-3, May 1-(-5). Rose Hill, Decker 14-166, Pearson 16-115, Dockers 10-76, Forsberg 7-38, Lewis 6-26, Gardner 7-11.
Passing — Andale, Smarsh 3-6-0-40, May 0-1-0-0, Kear 1-1-0-20. Rose Hill, Decker 0-3-0-0.
Receiving — Andale, Seiler 1-20, Ungles 1-20, Mobley 1-16, Elpers 1-4. Rose Hill, .