Rockdale Revenge

Big Blue avenges early season loss to West
BY BILL MARTIN
Reporter Sports Editor


Tiger Jaqualyn Crawford pulled off another spectacular catch in the win over West. 
Steve Young photo Tiger Jaqualyn Crawford pulled off another spectacular catch in the win over West. Steve Young photo BELTON—There is an old literary chestnut that reads, “those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

The Rockdale Tigers did their homework.

Avenging a season opening loss, the Tigers dispensed of West 31-21 Friday night in the Class 3A, Division I, Region III regional round at Big Red Field.

The Tigers (10-3) take on Teague (11-2) in the regional quarterfinals Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Waco ISD Stadium.

Rockdale is advancing to the fourth round of the playoffs for the third time in the past five seasons.

In the Tigers 42-24 loss to the Trojans on September 1, they had a host of key starters on the sideline and transfer quarterback Torry Locklin was starting his first game.

Rockdale was in full force Friday and it was a whole new ball game.


Clockwise from bottom left: senior defensive back Josh Springer sparked the Tigers defensive effort with a team-high 15 tackles and an interception. Middle left, Chris Johnson and Jaqualyn Crawford display the regional championship trophy. Top left, Crawford makes it clear where he is going to play his college ball. Top middle, Briana David lends a hand to Jr. Harris who played with four stitches in his thumb. Dylan David’s dramatic interception and 25-yard return sealed the Tigers’ win. Top right, Quentin Hughes listens to some inspirational music in front of his locker before the game. Middle right, Tyler Lehmkuhl heads downfield after a catch. Middle, flag girls Emma Pickett and Hanna Jimenez signal Rockdale is heading for the fourth round. Jackson Perry and Cayden McBride get defensive instructions. Bottom right, Torry Locklin rolled up 286 yards of offense. Bottom middle, Torry Locklin, Tyler Lehmkuhl, Josh Springer and Tyler Caldwell man the Tigers’ Christmas parade float. Clockwise from bottom left: senior defensive back Josh Springer sparked the Tigers defensive effort with a team-high 15 tackles and an interception. Middle left, Chris Johnson and Jaqualyn Crawford display the regional championship trophy. Top left, Crawford makes it clear where he is going to play his college ball. Top middle, Briana David lends a hand to Jr. Harris who played with four stitches in his thumb. Dylan David’s dramatic interception and 25-yard return sealed the Tigers’ win. Top right, Quentin Hughes listens to some inspirational music in front of his locker before the game. Middle right, Tyler Lehmkuhl heads downfield after a catch. Middle, flag girls Emma Pickett and Hanna Jimenez signal Rockdale is heading for the fourth round. Jackson Perry and Cayden McBride get defensive instructions. Bottom right, Torry Locklin rolled up 286 yards of offense. Bottom middle, Torry Locklin, Tyler Lehmkuhl, Josh Springer and Tyler Caldwell man the Tigers’ Christmas parade float. Trailing for the third straight week, Big Blue leaned on its defense once again to propel them to another playoff victory.

The Tiger D had three second-half interceptions, a fumble recovery and blanked West over the final two quarters.

Big Blue grabbed a 24-21 lead with 8 minutes, 36 seconds remaining to be played on Luis Iruegas’ 37-yard field goal, which was set up after Rockdale recovered the Trojans’ only fumble of the game near midfield.

The Tigers sealed the victory a short time later when linebacker Dylan David intercepted an end around pass by receiver Romeo Hernandez and returned it 25 yards to the West 23-yard line which sent the Tiger bench and fans alike into an unbridled frenzy.

Locklin then found Jaqualyn Crawford for a 19-yard touchdown for a 31-21 cushion with 7:30 to play.

“The punt block, giving up the long run, and all of the sudden our 14-point lead is gone,” said Rockdale Coach Jeff Miller. “And we are pouting and all of a sudden we have a bad offensive series, fumble, and we go from thinking the game could have gotten ugly our way, to trailing 21-14.

“We don’t need to keep doing this because in each round, the teams get better.

“But, our defense was incredible, and to basically just give up one long play to them was outstanding. Our kids are unselfish and they don’t get down on themselves.

“That was a lot of fun.”

The Tigers’ defensive prowess is evident in the stat book as West had possession of the ball just 12 minutes in the game, managed just 10 first downs and was just one-of-12 on third down conversions.

Of West quarterback Nathan Gerik’s teamhigh 133 yards rushing, 112 came on three plays, including a 56-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

Gerik completed just four passes for 33 yards and was picked off three times.

In the first meeting between the two schools, West racked up 354 yards of offense (236 rushing). Friday night, that number shrank to 208—86 in the second half.

Across the line, Big Blue’s Locklin was again the focus of the offense, accumulating 286 yards of total offense and had a hand in three touchdowns.

The senior now has 3,895 total yards this season, which is a new school record, surpassing Clayton Gibbs’ 2014 mark of 3,680.

Locklin also busted Daniel Brooks’ single-season rushing mark of 1,620 and has 1,735 with at least one more game. West Rockdale 10 First downs 15 40-175 Rushing 34-147 4-15-3 Passes 13-24-0 33 Passing yards 169 208 Total offense 316 5-35 Punts 6-27 1-1 Fumbles-lost 1-1 6-50 Penalties 7-65

Score by quarters Rockdale 140710—31 West 7 14 0 0—21

First quarter ROCKDALE—Torry Locklin 5 run (Luis Iruegas kick) 8:36 ROCKDALE—Locklin 1 run (Iruegas kick) 1:41 WEST—Gerik 56 run (Fausto Rodriguez kick) 1:04

Second quarter WEST— Bates 5 run (Rodriguez kick) 11:55 WEST—Gerik 1 run (Rodriguez kick) 2:24

Third quarter ROCKDALE—Jaqualyn Crawford 2 run (Iruegas kick) 4:02

Fourth quarter ROCKDALE—Ireugas 37 FG 8:26 ROCKDALE—Crawford 19 pass from Locklin (Ireugas kick) 7:30

The Leaders

RUSHING— ROCKDALE: Locklin 28-123 2TD, Crawford 4-17 TD, Ayala 2-7. WEST: Gerik 15-133 2TD.

PASSING—ROCKDALE: Locklin 12-23-0 163 yards TD, Crawford 1-1-0 6 yards. WEST: Gerik 4-15- 3 33 yards.

RECEIVING—ROCKDALE: Crawford 7-78 TD, Lehmkuhl 2-50, Perry 3-35, Locklin 1-6. WEST: Hernandez 2-29.

TACKLES—Springer 15, David 13, McBride 11, Harris 8, Perry 7, Dean 7, Davenport 7, Story 5, Crawford 4.

ROCKDALE VS. TEAGUE

What: Rockdale Tigers (10-3) vs. Teague Lions (11-2). Class 3A, Division I, Region III Regional quarterfinals

Where: Waco ISD Stadium (11,500 capacity, AstroTurf).

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Favorite: Teague by 1.

Last week: Rockdale, 31 West 21; Teague 41, Franklin 14.

Series: Teague leads 2-1.

Enrollment: Rockdale 427; Teague 431.

Mapquest: Teague is located between Fairfield and Mexia.

Playoff history: Rockdale— 27 trips (33-25); Teague 17 trips (11-16).

Streaking: Rockdale has been in the playoffs six straight years, Teague five.

State championships: Rockdale 1976. Teague none.

District look: Rockdale was second in District 10-3A; Teague was District 9-3A tri-champion.

Common opponents: Rockdale lost to West and Franklin, defeated Malakoff and Cameron; Teague lost to West; defeated Franklin, Malakoff and Cameron.

Lion to watch: No. 12, Jr. QB Zack Satterwhite

Coaches: Jeff Miller, 12th year at Rockdale (88-54, 122-76 in 18 years); Donnie Osborne, 4th year at Teague (42-8).

If you go: 68 miles.

Best place to eat: Tejun’s Texas Cajun in Robinson.

Tickets: $7 for adults, $5 for students at gate. No pre-sale tickets. Gold Cards are accepted. Rockdale is the visitors








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