MINFORD — Eager Falcons fans filled the stadium Friday evening in anticipation for the first game of the year against the Rock Hill Redmen. New Head Coach Jesse Ruby and his squad took the field to receive the first kick off of the season.
Then the trouble started. The Falcons mishandled the kick, which gave Rock Hill a great starting field position at the 29 yard-line. The Redmen took advantage, grinding down the shortened field to finish the drive with a 1-yard touchdown rush by Trystan Matney.
Minford answered back on the next drive. Tyler Compton, who led the charge much of the night for Minford, finished off the possession with a 17-yard running touchdown. He finished the game with a total of 108 rushing yards on the evening.
Rock Hill took advantage of two more turnovers in the first half. The Falcons fumbled a punt and had a Tyler McCormick pass picked off. All three turnovers resulted in points the other way for the Redmen.
“It came down to our mistakes early,” said Ruby. “Our mistakes turned into early points for them. We were down and they were just able to run the ball a ton after that.”
His words were true, considering Rock Hill rushed every offensive play besides two. Matney went on a tear, rushing for 161 yards on 19 carries with 4 touchdowns. Brady Knipp chipped in as well with 86 yards on the ground for Rock Hill.
“Matney ran really hard tonight,” said Ruby. “They do a lot of deceptive things. You make a mistake here and there and that really increases the yards at the end of a carry. Matney is a big back who runs hard. We were trying to arm tackle him and that just won’t work on a runner like that.”
The bright side for Minford was found in the passing game. Aside from the lone interception, Tyler McCormick went 11-for-18 with 102 yards.
“Passing was the game plan for us,” said Ruby. “Early on the running game was working so well I tried to keep sticking with it. In the second half we let Tyler open it up to try to get us back in the ball game.”
Ruby also pointed out the need to develop a second running back in the coming weeks.
“Compton ran really well for us. But we had some injuries and with the heat we were really trying to rotate backs. Tyler had the hot hand so we kept feeding him the ball.”
Ruby promised Dylan Shepard will see more snaps in the backfield in coming weeks. He had 17 yards on three carries, with a single reception for a 25-yard gain.
Minford will try to regroup next week when they host the defending SOC I Champions, the Oak Hill Oaks. Last year, the Falcons came out on top by a score of 29-15.
Rushing- Minford: Compton 20-108, Shepard 3-17,Caudill 4-10,Gaines 2-3; Rock Hill: Matney 19-161, Knipp 15-86, Darby 4-33, T. Adkins 4-32, Z. Adkins 3-4
Passing- Minford: McCormick 11/18-102; Rock Hill: Darby 1/2- 22
Receiving- Minford: Shepard 1-25, Bowen 2-23, Muck 3-20, Tilley 2-14, Spradlin 1-10,Thouroghman 1-10, Compton 1-5; Rock Hill: Shope 1-22
Reach Derrick Parker at [email protected] or on twitter @DC__Parker