Your community matters

Rams pull away from Fike after fourth quarter surge

Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.

ROLESVILLE — Rolesville High football sandwiched two dominant quarters around a 24-minute underdog fight Thursday Aug. 29 in order to eventually subdue Wilson Fike, 34-13. The Rams (2-0) saw a quick 13-0 advantage evaporate before sealing the deal using a 21-0 final stanza finishing blow. Their main motor belonged to senior tailback Josh Pullen, who carried 30 times for 202 yards and three touchdowns. Pullen pushed piles most of the way during the opening seven-hike, 57-yard scoring drive. His 5-yard plug capped it, then Devin Versteegen punched the PAT for a 7-0 lead barely two minutes deep. On the next series, not even back-to-back holding penalties setting up a fourth-and-36 situation could stop Rolesville. Sophomore quarterback Byrum Brown (8-of-14, 146 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions) bombed away to Jashaun Patterson behind the secondary for a 39-yard strike with 4:31 left in the first period. That edge failed to withstand a Golden Demon offensive onslaught the next two frames. They played keepaway, accumulating a 49-23 advantage in total snaps. A 10-play, 59-yard ball control attack plus the PAT reduced the gap to 13-7 8:55 left in the second. Then a 15-hike, 63-yard Wilson Five drive began the third. Upon being prolonged by a fake punt, it cashed in a 1-yard plunge. The extra point was missed, yet left the game notched at 13-13.

In he fourth, Rolesville returned to its previous powerhouse ways. Brown uploaded a 53-yard fly to freshman Noah Rogers, who wriggled in front of the defender to make the catch and carry to the box. Versteegen belted the 20-13 gap with 11:36 left. Linebacker Darius Robinson (17 tackles) squashed an ensuing fourth-down Golden Demon pass reception short of the sticks, giving the rock back to the Rams. Pullen’s 35-yard thundering anchored the trip, which he concluded using a 5-yard bowl into the goal. Versteegen punched the PAT with 6:33 remaining. Fike’s next bid failed to move the chains. There was no such problem for Rolesville. Its thoroughbred Pullen pushe dpiles and finally punctured the end zone from 12 yards out with 3:26 unresolved. Versteegen accounted for the lasting score. The Rams tallied 234 yards rushing on 46 hand-offs (5.1 per pop) as well as chewing up 20 first downs. Wilson Fike countered with 166 yards rushing on 48 tries (or 3.5 each tote). Its passing game (5-of-14, 62 yards, two interceptions) lacked any zing. Isaiah Kozar and Ethan Daniels, in fact, picked off consecutive throws during the second quarter. Rolesville’s defense received a monster performance by defensive end Chiemeka Njoku (16 tackles, four tackles for losses, one sack, fumble recovery). Oluwasein Adewumi (11 tackles, one sack), Jalen Butts (10 tackles), Camar Kyle (nine) and Jamie Farley (seven) also clogged Demon paths. “You had that chance to let the walls crumble around you after they tied the game,” Coach Martin Samek told the team afterward. “But you hung in there. You hung together. And that’s when Rolesville became Rolesville.”