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Rolesville clobbers Wakefield in conference opener

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ROLESVILLE — In the first round of its NAC 6 title pursuit, Rolesville football 49-19 uppercut Wakefield on the road last Friday.

The still-undefeated Rams unleashed its own Brown bomber in the ring as quarterback Byrum Brown brutalized the Wolverine secondary for 15-of-21 passing, amassing 371 yards and five touchdowns. It was a school-record performance leading to the program’s best victory total in a single season (seven) with four regular-season contests left.

“I didn’t think it would turn out this way,” Rolesville head coach Martin Samek said during the Rolesville offensive explosion. “I expected a grind-it-out type trench fight. But this works, too.”

His sophomore slinger threw for triple figures in the opening half alone. Brown’s legs, though, landed the first big blow when he carried a 10-yard keeper to the end zone on the Rams initial drive. Devin Versteegen popped the PAT, and the guests never trailed in a place where Wakefield was previously unbeaten this year.

The Rolesville resistance forced consecutive turnovers on the next two Wolverine possessions. An Isaiah Kozar interception yielded a three-and-out, but his fumble recovery prompted a scoring trip. Browns’ play-action plug of Jashaun Patterson behind the coverage netted a quick 38-yard six. Versteegen lifted the spread to 14-0 with 3:08 left in the first quarter.

Wakefield responded with a sustained move to the Rams 13, where it settled for a 30-yard Jacob Morton field goal. The Wolverine defense then supplied a stop, only to have its counterpart do the same.

Brown subsequently located tailback Josh Pullen out of the backfield. The senior navigated a load of lead blocks, then broke a few tackles while completing a 39-yard treasure trek. The Versteegen bonus widened the gap to 21-3.

Here’s where the pace amped to frantic mode. Wakefield’s Juwan Bunch hit the sideline with the ensuing kickoff, juked a last-chance grabber and roared 77 yards into the box. That cut the gap to 21-10 in 12 seconds.

However, Rolesville required just one hike to match the momentum swing. Brown hoisted an 80-yard deep-post pattern to Patterson, who hauled it in and hurried it home in 11 seconds. Versteegen notched the reinstated 28-10 spread.

Wakefield replied with a charge. It saw an improvised touchdown toss erased by a false start penalty, so Morton drilled a 37-yard field goal instead.

With about three minutes remaining in the half, Rolesville used less than 30 seconds of it. Brown delivered to Chris Best on the same breakaway route for a 69-yard sudden stampede. Versteegen made it 35-13 at intermission.

Any comeback faded early in the third as the Rams back-to-back barged the distance. Brown found Jaedyn Fulton from 14 yards out on a diving catch to complete that mission, then Brown handed to Pullen for a 26-yard motoring to finalize the visitors’ goal strolls. In the process, Pullen (11 totes, 107 yards) kept alive his streak of at least one rushing romp in every clash this season.

Brown inflated his debut varsity campaign numbers to 1,675 total aerial yards and 17 total touchdown tosses opposite five interceptions. He also has three ground scores, giving him 20 compiled stripe crossings. Not bad for a rookie.

“I just read the safety and let it fly,” Brown later said, explaining the big gainers. He targeted six different receivers successfully during this particular outburst.

Defensively, Jalen Butts led the Rams in tackles. Jacory Bible (10 tackles, two sacks) and Darius Robinson (10 tackles) also stymied the Wolverines, who did not tally an offensive score until late in the fourth.

Rashaun Jones changed directions on a 12-yard frenzied feat. The PAT holder was sacked following a bad snap, solidifying the final count.

With the loss, Wakefield dropped to 4-3 overall and 0-1 in NAC 6 conference play. It was their first defeat at home this season.

With the win, Rolesville stays undefeated at 7-0 and is now 1-0 in NAC 6 conference play. The Rams have never won their first seven games of the season in school history.

Wakefield will travel to Heritage tonight at 7 p.m. for a conference rivalry showdown. Rolesville will take on Knightdale at home in their rivalry matchup at the same date and time.