Game 7 vs. Rockwall Heath

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Hawks Fly Past Bulldogs 42-28
By Bobby Summers
Rockwall-Heath’s Kendial Lawrence ran roughshod over the Royse City homecoming last Friday night. The senior Heath Hawk tailback amassed 268 rushing yards on 36 carries and scored 4 touchdowns. The number 5 area ranked Hawks continued their undefeated season with a 42-28 District 10-4A win over the Royse City Bulldogs.
It was really not that easy. With 9:36 to play in the ballgame both of these teams were tied at 28-28. For nearly 39 minutes these two schools had Royse City ISD Stadium rocking with excitement. The two neighboring teams slugged it out as Rockwall-Heath claimed the first ever whimsical Rockwall County Championship.
Lawrence scored on runs of 56, 1 and 5 rushing. He also scored on a 20 yard pass reception.
The game was billed as a match-up of two district undefeated area ranked football teams. Royse City’s All-State quarterback Richard Morrison and Heath’s All-State running back Kendial Lawrance. When all was said and done, Morrison accumulated 310 passing yards and 38 rushing yards for 348 total yards. Lawrence’s 268 yards rushing and 42 yards receiving helped to give the two talented football players a total of 658 yards of offense in this game.  
Lawrence opened up the scoring with his 56 yard run to pay dirt with 4:02 to play in the first quarter. The kick was good by Brad Howes and Rockwall-Heath took a 7-0 lead.
Royse City quickly answered with a 27 yard touchdown strike from Morrison to Ryan Fedric. Kollin Padon kicked that extra point and the score was tied 7-7 just 1:50 after the Hawks score.
Lawrence capped off a 10 play 56 yard drive on the third play of the second quarter. The senior Hawk scored on second down and goal at the five yard line with 10:55 to play in the first half. Howe’s kick was good and Heath took a 14-7 lead.
Facing fourth down and two at the Heath six yard line, the Hawks were flagged for pass interference in the end zone. On first and goal at the one yard line Heath drew a personal foul face mask penalty. Morrison then scored from inside the one with 8:48 to play in the half. Padon’s kick was good and the Bulldogs tied the score at 14-14.
Behind Lawrence, Heath racked up 5 first downs on their next drive that consumed 79 yards and 11 plays. Something was fishy as Rockwall-Heath quarterback Drew Hollingshead lined up at wide receiver and Lawrence took the direct snap. Heath tossed a pass to Hollingshead, who in turn threw back to Lawrence for a 20 yard touchdown. The pass was on it’s mark, but the point after kick was off it’s target as Howe missed the extra point giving Heath a 20-14 lead.
Royse City answered with nearly an identical drive. Going 78 yards in 11 plays, it took the Bulldogs 2:10 to score on a 3 yard touchdown pass from Morrison to Devin Bryant. Padon’s kick was good and the Bulldogs took a 21-20 lead at the :16 mark of the half.
The Bulldogs came out in the second half, shut down the Hawks on a three and out and took over on their own 26 yard line with 10:17 to play in the third period. Two pass completions to Justin Jacobs for 28 and 24 yards respectively, set the Bulldogs up with a first and goal at the Heath five yard line. Morrison then connected with his brother, T.J. Thompson, on the one handed five yard touchdown catch. Padon’s kick was good and Royse City had completed a 74 yard drive in 6 plays and in just one minute and thirty two seconds. With 8:45 to play in the third stanza Royse City took a 28-20 lead.
For the next five and half minutes the Bulldogs fended off the Hawks. Heath finally crossed the goal line on a one yard dive by Lawrence. Lawrence also grabbed the two point conversion for the Hawks and the game was knotted at 28-28 and tied the third time in the contest.
The first possession of the fourth period found Rockwall Heath going for the lead. The Hawks had already grabbed an earlier lead on some trickery, this time they would take advantage of a little fakery. On fourth and three at their own 48 yard line, Rockwall Heath faked the punt and found their tight end on a 7 yard first down toss. The deception continued as Heath tailback and wide out Everett Gilbert switched jerseys and numbers at the half. When he did he switched gears on the Bulldogs on a 21 yard touchdown run that capped off a 59 yard drive. Howe kicked the extra point for a 35-28 Hawk lead.
Royse City returned the ensuing kickoff to the Bulldogs 45 yard line. A pass interference call on Heath on third down and thirteen, breathed life back into the Bulldog offense. On the very next play however, the life was taken out of the offense as Morrison scrambled to his right. As Morrison cocked his arm to throw, it seemed as his arm was going forward, but the referees saw it differently and Heath caused the fumble that they would recover at the Bulldog 49 yard line. Six plays later, Gilbert rambled 23 yards for his second touchdown of the game. Howe kicked what would be the final point of the game with exactly 5:00 to play.
The Bulldogs controlled the ball until less than a minute remained on the clock. Driving to the Hawk 18 yard line Morrison’s pass to Jacobs was incomplete and Rockwall-Heath took a knee to end the contest with a 42-28 win.
Royse City will go on the road for the next two weeks. Next week the Bulldogs travel to Highland Park to take on the state’s number three ranked and undefeated Highland Park Scots. Kickoff is at 7:30.