Rocky River Football

Week 2: Rocky River dominates Wellington, 56-7

WELLINGTON — In a game shortened because of a large second-half lead, and then called in the fourth quarter due to incoming weather, the Rocky River Pirates pillaged and plundered their way to an impressive 56-7 win on the road over the Wellington Dukes.

The offense was kickstarted by an electrifying performance from senior Pirate quarterback, and captain, Matt Lowry. After starting the game a perfect 6 of 6 throwing for 127 yards and four scores in the first quarter, the signal caller ended his night at halftime after completing 9 of 12 for 211 yards and adding another TD late in the second quarter.

“Matt can turn any bad play call into a good play call” Rocky River head coach Rick Adams said. “We saw that they like to play an aggressive man defense in our film studies, and felt that we could exploit that down the field early and often.”

Despite good protection for most of the night, Lowry’s most impressive plays came when he was eluding and brushing off the Wellington pass rush. Whether it was eluding five defenders and scrambling for a 20 yard run on third down, or stepping up in the pocket perfectly to deliver the ball downfield, the senior was a true field general and set the tone Friday evening.

“I play hockey as well, and the constant motion really helps your instincts in the pocket” said Lowry. “I need protection to make those plays though, and I’m always grateful for that from my o-line.”

Three of Lowry’s scores landed in the hands of receiver Evan Nugent. The big 6-2 junior came down with a 13-yard score on Rocky River’s opening drive. After getting a defensive stop on the ensuing possession, Nugent outran the coverage and caught a 60 yard bomb for another six in stride helped by Lowry buying extra time in the pocket.

“It sounds simple, but you just have to always have the mindset to get open and win your matchup” said Nugent. “We make alot of sight reads at the line. Even on run plays, if Matt and I see blitzing backers or off coverage, we are not afraid to check to a pass and take advantage.”

Nugent added one more scoring grab of 22 yards still in the first quarter, and also returned a punt 63 yards for his fourth and final score of the evening in the second quarter.

On his quarterback’s ability to improvise and make something out of nothing, coach Adams was both joking and complementary.
“I draw those plays up,” he said with a smile. “As great as Matt is, this is also the best group of receivers I have ever coached.

“We feel confident against any matchups we face in that regard.”

A large deficit did not turn down the motors of the Wellington Dukes. The defense noticeably clamped down after a rough start. Senior running back Bobby Nestor scored on a run from 37 yards out, breaking multiple tackles in the process. It was simply too little too late on a night where the Pirates were firing on all cylinders.

Other players of note were Rocky River junior Eric Jones, who scored on both a pick six, and a 58-yard pass from Lowry. Jimi Smith added two sacks and multiple tackles in the backfield for the Pirates.

Rocky River moves to 2-0 and will welcome Warrensville Heights next week where they will try to keep the high octane attack rolling.

(Source: Morning Journal)

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