Rebels keep on running


The Roncalli football team has been able to methodically churn out yards on the ground.

“We’ve been banging it all year, being a four- or five-yard-a-carry team,” Rebels coach Scott Marsh said. “We’ve been waiting for that big one. It was good to see one of them get in the open field.”

Junior Elijah Mahan broke loose for 70-yard touchdown run in Class 5A No. 1 Roncall’s 38-7 rout of Class 2A No. 3 Scecina Friday night at Arsenal Tech. The Rebels (5-0) have now won a school-record 20 games in a row.

Mahan finished with a team-high 115 yards on eight carries.

“I saw (guard) Joe Mullin get the linebacker, and (receiver) Luke Dill got the corner or safety, and then I just ran it as fast as I can,” Mahan said.

Mahan said he enjoys being part of the Rebels’ three-man rotation at running back.

“I like it because we get rest and we have new back pounding it in every three times,” Mahan said.

The Rebels took a 7-0 lead when Cameron Fath returned an interception 26 yards for a TD on the Crusaders’ opening possession.

“To jump out and get that lead early in the first quarter, we couldn’t ask for anything better than that,” Marsh said.

Patrick McManama made it 14-0 with a 1-yard run later in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Conner Gore hooked up with Michael Dill for a 44-yard TD pass to boost the lead to 21-0. Gore completed eight of 13 passes for 159 yards.

Following Merrick Strykowski’s 26-yard field goal to boost the Roncalli lead to 24-0 in the third quarter, Scecina (4-1) scored on an 8-yard TD pass from Mac Ayres to Jack Wright to cut the lead to 24-7 with 2:22 left in the third quarter. Twenty-one seconds later, Mahan scored his on his 70-yarder.

The Rebels got another touchdown on 45-yard fumble recovery by defensive end Conley Jones.

“He just took it right away,” Marsh said. “You drilled it every week and you wait for that one-in-a-million time it happens in the game.”

Jones kept looking over his shoulder.

“I just had to keep looking over my shoulder to see if my boys had me, and they did,” Jones said. “I didn’t think I had it until I scored.

“It still feels like a dream. I was in need of oxygen after that.”

Scecina’s Ayres completed 20 of 40 passes for 230 yards and three interceptions. Passing was the Crusaders’ only hope, as they had minus-34 yards on 12 rushing attempts.

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Mark Ambrogi is a sports correspondent for the Daily Journal.