Augusta maintained its composure during some trying times Friday night, but none of those challenges was on the scoreboard.
The Orioles bolted to an early 21-0 lead, then took advantage of Rose Hill mistakes and clinched the No. 2 seed out of Class 4A-District 6 with a 42-20 victory.
Augusta (6-3) will advance to the state playoffs with the district’s No. 2 seed, which means opening on the road at Mulvane next Friday.
Senior Luke Dockers rushed for 135 yards and a touchdown, and Augusta (6-3) rolled up 337 yards of offense – 272 on the ground. Seniors Dockers and Raef Hilt accounted for 256 of that total.
Filbeck said not to over look the offensive line’s role in getting them that lofty rushing total. Orioles rushers frequently had huge holes to run through.
“They’re good players, but that line played big (Friday night),” Augusta coach Jason Filbeck said. “Guys in front of them were driving people, we went to our double-tight(-end) stuff, and we could have stuck in that all night, I think. We ran power football right at them, because each time we were getting good gains.
“(The line) created a lot of gaps for them, we had downhill runs (Friday night).”
“My line was doing really good (Friday night),” he said. “Kids were filling in after some kids get hurt every week, and it’s just part of stepping up, part of playing football.”
The Orioles (6-3) struck early and were able to keep Rose Hill at arm’s length the rest of the way.
Critical Rockets mistakes didn’t help any, but Augusta just had too many weapons for Rose Hill (3-6).
“They came out fighting, and we came out fighting, but it was a good fight,” Hilt said.
The Orioles’ second touchdown came after a short field because the Rockets fumbled on the kickoff return from Augusta’s first score.
Midway through the second quarter, Rose Hill was driving when senior running back Brady McAllister was assessed a personal foul and ejected. The Rockets had just forced an interception and began in Augusta territory.
Rose Hill’s woes didn’t end there. Its punter’s knee touched the ground on a punt attempt on that same drive, giving Augusta the ball at the Rose Hill 11.
The Rockets also lost senior Tyler Proctor, who was injured after making a critical 15-yard gain.
Augusta – and Dockers – needed just one play for another touchdown and a 21-0 lead.
Filbeck praised his team’s composure and said he knew what it was like to be on the other side of those calls.
“When we’ve lost games, it’s because we’ve made silly mistakes like fumbling a ball that we have no business fumbling,” he said. “But that’s football; that’s what loses games.
“I was really proud of (senior Garrett) Tipton, who got punched, to not do anything back. He just walked away. He’s a senior, and he’s understanding what we’re trying to be about.”
One bright spot for Rose Hill was the play of senior Griffin McBride, who contributed to the Rockets’ rushing game by carrying four times for 38 yards and catching seven passes for 70 yards.
“McBride’s a really good player,” Filbeck said. “We knew he was getting the ball, early, and then when their running backs went out, then we knew for sure McBride’s getting the ball.
“He’s just a really good player. I wish I had him.”
Augusta 7 14 14 7 – 42
Rose Hill 0 6 0 14 – 20
A – Jackson 28 pass from Whitehead (Shupe kick)
A – Whitehead 4 run (Shupe kick)
A – Dockers 11 run (Shupe kick)
RH – Hale 12 run (pass failed)
A – Hilt 15 run (Shupe kick)
A – Rocheford 2 run (Shupe kick)
RH – Culbertson 9 fumble return (McBride pass from Moore)
A – Wilson 1 run (Shupe kick)
RH – McBride 19 run (run failed)
RUSHING – Augusta: Dockers 20-135, Hilt 5-121, Rocheford 6-24, Dennis 2-4, Husselman 2-2, Wilson 1-1, Whitehead 15-(-2), Jackson 5-(-13). Rose Hill: Jones 12-43, McBride 4-38, McAllister 7-22, Proctor 2-18, Hale 3-(-1), Moore 9-(-34).
PASSING – Augusta: Whitehead 6-14-1-65. Rose Hill: Moore 11-20-0-104.
RECEIVING – Augusta: Jackson 3-56, Reynolds 2-6, Wesbrooks 1-3. Rose Hill: McBride 7-70, Hale 3-31, Rapp 1-3.