After matching blows with Rummel in a scoreless first half of a jamboree game Friday at St. Paul’s, the Wolves found out why the Raiders are so highly regarded.
Rummel, which is ranked nationally in several polls, scored 20 unanswered points in the second half to defeat St. Paul’s 20-7 in a jamboree at Hunter Stadium in Covington.
“We had one 80-yard drive that realistically made the game 7-7,” Rummel coach Jay Roth said. “But we made some big plays with an interception and a blocked punt to give us a short field. It was a lot of drama for a jamboree.”
Evan Esquerré sent an early message that the Wolves were prepared for the matchup. On the first play from scrimmage, he burst through the Rummel line and sacked quarterback Chase Fourcade. St. Paul’s stymied the Raiders’ first possession, but their offense couldn’t get much going initially.
On Rummel’s second possession, they drove to the St. Paul’s 26 but couldn’t advance any farther, turning the ball over to the Wolves on downs. When that drive went nowhere, Rummel’s running game went to work and started striking the heart of the St. Paul’s defense. Fourcade ran for 22 yards and Israel Tucker followed with a 10-yard rush to get near midfield.
But again the Wolves’ defense cracked down, as Hunter Romero recorded his second sack of the half to end the drive.
Neither team found the end zone in the 15-minute first half. The first session went quickly, with only one penalty (a 12-yard setback on Rummel).
Fourcade was 4-for-7 for 43 yards in the half, and he rushed for another 15 yards. St. Paul’s quarterback Kenny Sears finished the first half 6-for-10 for 31 yards. He ran for 15 yards as well.
St. Paul’s made another statement to start the second half — this one on offense. Corey Williamson took a handoff from Sears and raced around the left side for a 78-yard touchdown. The score, with 14:35 to go in the half, was capped with a PAT by Austin Means.
Williamson totaled approximately 140 rushing yards against the Raiders.
Rummel didn’t wait long to counter with a score of its own, however. After a costly penalty moved the ball into the Wolves’ red zone, Tucker rushed over right tackle for a 12-yard score. Alexander Bollinger knocked home the PAT to even the score at 7 with 11:12 remaining in the game.
A blocked punt then gave Rummel the ball at the St. Paul’s 3. A holding penalty pushed the ball back to the Wolves’ 11, and Fourcade found Brett Eschete in the right corner of the end zone for a touchdown. Bollinger’s kick put Rummel ahead 14-7.
A botched punt return by Rummel gave St. Paul’s the ball back at its own 26, and Sears drove his team to the 4-yard line. But on a fourth-down play with time winding down, his pass was picked off at the goal line by Kristian Fulton and returned 99 yards for a score.
“I thought our kids were physical, but obviously you can’t make mistakes against a very good Rummel team,” St. Paul’s coach Ken Sears said. “They capitalized on those mistakes, and that’s why it tilted their way. ... But I feel good about our progression. We have some things to work on in a lot of areas, but I like where we are right now.”