Rose survives weather-plagued duel with Hunt

Jake Rogers had a pair of touchdowns in J.H. Rose High School's win over Wilson Hunt Monday.. (252Buzz file photo by Bill Hudson)

By Mike Grizzard

WILSON -- J.H. Rose quarterback Grant Charles Jarman was happy to leave Wilson with a win Monday night. He was even more thrilled that the game with Hunt, twice interrupted by stormy weather, finally was over.

After being limited to just one quarter on Friday because of lightning, the two teams returned Monday and battled until the 9:49 mark of the fourth quarter when more flashes of lightning and an eventual downpour put an end to play, giving Rose a 21-14 victory.

The unbeaten Rampants (3-0) came into Monday’s game with a 14-6 lead.

“I am glad it’s over,” said Jarman, who threw a pair of touchdown passes Friday and what proved to be the game-winner with 4:41 left in the third quarter Monday. “My stress level has gone down a lot now. All weekend I was thinking about this game.”

The two teams waited through a delay of more than two hours Friday before the decision to move the game to Monday was made. They resumed at 6:30 p.m. under humid conditions, completed the second quarter tied at 14-14 and went to a 12-minute halftime.

The Warriors had run 10 plays on a drive that started at their 6-yard-line when lightning and a rumble of thunder prompted play to be halted just before 8 p.m. The game was called about 90 minutes later.

“Our focus, honestly, was kind of lacking when we restarted the game today,” Jarman said. “Coming into today on a Monday, it was something really weird for everyone. We kind of got off to a slow start, then we were picking things up, and then lightning and rain happened again. Crazy weekend.”

Rose head coach Dave Wojtecki said the interruptions in play and uncertainty created challenges for both players and the staff. After Friday, Rose not only reviewed film to make adjustments for the return trip to Hunt but began preparing for this Friday’s game against Havelock.

“It’s hard to focus the guys,” Wojtecki said. “Friday you start. We were off to a pretty good start offensively. Everything’s looking good, everything’s clicking, and boom, you sit and wait, sit and wait, sit and wait. ... It’s hard to get them reeled back in.

“I was a little worried going back tonight. Same thing, Sit and wait, sit and wait. I was kind of relieved that it got called because trying to get them back focused again is tough.”

Rose scored on each of its possessions on Friday, getting a pair of 18-yard touchdown passes from Jarman. The Rampants turned the ball over on an interception on a halfback pass and on downs at the Hunt 18 on their first two possessions on Monday.

Hunt drove 72 yard on 13 plays to pull even, scoring on a 4-yard run by Shyheim Deberry and a two-point run by Deberry after a roughing the passer penalty on Rose.

The Warriors threatened to take the lead in the third quarter, moving to the Rose 15, but failed on a third-and-1 pass then got stuffed for a 1-yard loss on fourth down.

Rose then drove 84 yards in 13 plays to take the lead, benefiting from a third-down pass interference penalty and an unsportsmanlike penalty after an incomplete pass on another third down. Jarman flipped a 3-yard pass to Jake Rogers for the score.

“Offensively that was huge for us to come down and score,” Wojtecki said. “It took a couple of penalties to keep the drive rolling. Normally we’re the ones that create the penalties that stalls the drives, so it was nice to get some help on the other side. That was a huge.”

Jarman finished 11-of-22 for 89 yards. Rogers had a team-high six catches for 45 yards, including a pair of touchdowns.

“On film we saw that the inside receiver had a lot of open routes, and we took advantage of that,” Rogers said. “The middle of the field was open, and I was open so it just worked out that way.”

Catching the game-winner was especially gratifying, Rogers said. A potential game-winner in overtime last year bounced off his hands and was intercepted in the end zone, giving Hunt a 23-20 win.

“That was very set on my mind,” he said. “I thought about that for a long time, me just as well as the team. We did not want to finish like that again.”

Mike Grizzard of Winterville has more than 30 years of experience as a writer for both print and digital publications in the areas of sports, business, news, faith and personal profiles. Contact Mike at 252-916-4206.