The nightmare is finally over for the Rockets.
“We were just hungry for it,” Castle Rock running back Nathan Halladay said. “I was hungry for it. We’ve been making a few mistakes every game, but we brought it all together this game and it worked really well.”
Castle Rock (1-5, 1-1 league) dominated the King’s Way Christian Knights 55-14 on Friday at home in their second Trico 1A League game, thanks to two stellar performances from the Rockets’ senior running back duo — Halladay and Nate Myklebust.
The pair combined for 281 yards rushing and five touchdowns, helping the Rockets win their first match in seven games.
Rockets coach Eric Boswell said he decided to stick with the run for most of the game after noticing some pretty big holes in the Knights’ (1-5, 0-2 league) defense.
“After watching tape, I thought we were physically better up front,” he said. “They really tried to take away our outside game, so we just kept going inside, and they didn’t make too many adjustments and we just kept going right at them, so that worked pretty good.”
Halladay finished with three touchdowns and 178 yards on 16 carries, including two runs of 45 yards or longer. The senior back said he had screwed up big plays like those before, and was determined to not repeat the past.
“I got (a big run) a couple weeks ago and I let the ball go, so I just made sure to hold on tight and get in the end zone this time,” Halladay said, laughing.
However, Halladay sat out a chunk of the fourth quarter due to getting hit in the hip during a tackle. Coach Boswell said he wasn’t sure if the senior back would play next week at Stevenson, but Halladay said he believed he’d be fine by then.
Meanwhile, his tandem partner Myklebust was a dual threat: the senior rushed for 103 yards on 10 carries, and caught three passes for 56 yards. He snagged two rushing touchdowns Friday night, including a 51-yard dash.
Myklebust said he knew he had to have a breakout performance tonight.
“It was really just the downside of us having five really bad games, rushing-wise,” he said. “Personally, I know I’ve had five bad games, and I had to come out and have a great one here.”
Castle Rock junior quarterback Seth Werly threw 5 passes for 54 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Junior wide receiver Brady Bach caught Werly’s 37-yard pass for the first touchdown of the night, and racked up 54 yards on three catches, along with 42 yards rushing. Bach also caught an interception in the second half.
Junior quarterback Caleb Mullen and freshman running back Wyatt Partridge also earned rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Sophomore defensive back Jayden Behrendsen caught an interception on the Knights’ first drive.
The Rockets will travel to the Stevenson Bulldogs (4-2, 1-2 league) Friday in a game Boswell described as must-win.
“Next week is the big game of the year for us, and we need that to stay in the playoff hunt, so that’s the goal. Win that game, we’re in the playoff hunt.”