Fisher Field was the setting for Friday Night Lights as the Rockies opened the 2019 NLC season with a victory over their arch-rival Warsaw Tigers. The final score was 24-19 as the Rockies picked up their sixth consecutive victory in the series over Warsaw dating back to the 2014 season.
The Rockies jumped on the Tigers early as they scored less than three minutes after taking the opening kickoff. Senior Seth Rundell playing his first game back from a high ankle sprain, took a 66 yard pass from QB Joe Barron to the house for six points. Adrian Cardona added the extra point and the Rockies lead 7-0 with 9:34 remaining in the first quarter.
Warsaw would cut the lead to a single point as they hit on consecutive field goals, the first coming at the end of the first quarter followed by the second one with just four minutes to play in the first half.
It would take the Rockies just one play to rebuild their lead. Junior Ivan Winkle took the hand off and outraced several Tiger defenders to the end zone for an 80 yard touchdown run. Cardona would add his second extra point, and the Rockies lead 14-6 with 3:42 remaining in the opening half.
The Rockies would add a 30 yard Cardona field goal after recovering a Warsaw fumble. The Rockies lead 17-6 at halftime.
Warsaw took the second half opening kickoff and eventually score a touchdown. The scoring drive took over seven minutes for the Tigers to hit pay dirt. The attempt for a 2-point conversion failed and the Rockies still lead 17-12 with under five minutes remaining in the third quarter.
The Rockies took the Warsaw kick off on a drive of their own. With the Rockies on the Warsaw 39 yard line one minute into the fourth quarter, Barron found Rundell on a short pass to the right. After the catch, the Warsaw defense swarmed Rundell forcing him to reverse his field to the left which is usually not successful…except this time. In a play that will make the highlight film at the end of the season, Rundell outran the Tigers to the end zone for a spectacular touchdown. Cardona added the extra point and the Rockies lead 24-12 with 10:26 remaining in the contest.
Another Warsaw drive resulted in a Tiger TD with five minutes remaining. The extra point made it 24-19.
A Rockie turnover gave the ball back to Warsaw with a chance to win the game. But the Rockies defense held on a fourth down Tiger play to give the Red and White a victory on the road.
The win moves the Pilgrims to 1-0 in the NLC and 2-1 overall. Next Friday the Rockies host the Northridge Raiders in a 7:00 kickoff. The game will also be the WHME Game-of-the-Week.