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ROLESVILLE — The past three Rolesville vs Knightdale High football battles had been decided by a combined 15 points. The latest meeting, though, saw the unbeaten Rams score more than that during a three-minute span to detonate a 49-6 victory.
The recent history of defense struggles vanished, as well, since Rolesville (8-0) reaped 559 yards, 29 first downs and seven touchdowns on 70 offensive snaps. Star tailback Josh Pullen even piled up 201 yards and five scoring scampers in the first half alone.
“We faced some adversity early, but then we did what Rolesville does now,” Rolesville head coach Martin Samek said afterward. “We rolled and rolled and rolled and rolled.”
It sure proved to a heaping helping of homecoming home cooking. The Rams dished out an eight-play, 90-yard drive along its opening series. Pullen pounded across from 22 out with 8:19 left in the frame.
An interception and three traded punts followed before Pullen accounted for 47 of the 51 yards on another steady chain-moving cash-in. Jashaun Patterson’s two-point conversion inflated the spread to 14-0 with 11:54 remaining in the half.
Knight Trevion Cooley (nine carries, 75 yards) burst 24 to crank the visitors’ counterattack, then quarterback Dax Hardy (3-of-14, 49 yards, two interceptions) hoisted a 30-yard fly to Kameron Davis. The PAT was blocked by Rolesville’s Oluswein Adewumi, leaving it 14-6 at the 10:29 mark.
Duke University commit Aeneas Peebles soon stripped a Ram runner and set the Knights on a course to possibly tie the contest. However, a lost fumble at the enemy 3-yard line switched momentum for the rest of the game.
Rolesville Ram quarterback Byrum Brown (11-of-21, 236 yards, one touchdown) sparked an 89-yard drive when he located Noah Rogers on a 47-yard sideline-tracing pattern. Pullen followed up with a later 5-yard bash. Devin Versteegen posted the 21-6 spread with just 2:57 left before intermission.
Cornerback O.C. Ford intercepted a pass and rerouted it to the Knight 39. Three snaps later, Pullen barged in from 12 with 1:06 remaining. Versteegen punched it to 28-6.
Ram defensive lineman Camar Kyle next picked off a flair pass and toted it 65 yards to the Knight 1. Pullen covered the rest of the distance one hike later, giving him his 18th rushing touchdown of the season. Versteegen’s PAT gifted the Rams with an unexpectedly wide margin with 20.5 seconds left till intermission.
Brown extended his own consecutive-game streak with a touchdown pass to eight after he lofted a 40-yard balloon to Ethan Harris. That began the third quarter with a bang, which Versteegen added to for a 42-6 advantage.
On its next possession, Rolesville pieced together a 17-play, 97-yard voyage to paydirt. Davonne Dunn (13 carries, 51 yards) completed the trek from the 3-yard line. Versteegen applied the final count with 23 seconds left in the period.
Rolesville’s defense added four more turnovers to its season pile of 24. It has surrendered just three offensive scores its past 10 quarters.
The Rams’ depth, duality and perfect 8-0 mark will be severely tested this week when they travel to Wake Forest (7-1) tonight at 7 p.m. to challenge the three-time defending state 4AA champion. No doubt, it is the biggest single game for the program ever.
“We plan to practice hard, then go there and give it our best shot,” senior linebacker Darius Robinson (10 tackles vs. Knightdale, over 90 on the year) said.