Running, passing and stuffing, the Rockville Rox captured the Class A Sectional 39 high school football championship Friday night in convincing fashion.

Led by the running of Zach Clapp, the passing combinations of Matt King to Aaron Bridge and Taylor Harper and a relentless defense, Rockville pounded the host Fountain Central Mustangs 41-14.

“The kids played really hard, did an excellent job. We just hung in there and I was just really pleased with the way our kids performed, how they played with heart. They played clean football, they did exactly what we asked them to do. It’s really been a great season for us,” Rockville coach Herb King said.

The undefeated Class A No. 5-ranked Rockville will host the Linton Miners next Friday. Linton knocked off previously unbeaten Perry Central in the Sectional 40 title game.

“It does not matter who you play. It matters that you play. I know Linton is an excellent ball club. No one from our side will ever say anything bad about Linton. We know they’re a good ball club,” King said.

King’s 100th coaching victory and third sectional title was led by his son, Matt, who completed 9-of-16 passes for 184 yards, including touchdown strikes of 26 and 14 yards to Bridge and 61 and 22 yards to Harper. The junior quarterback also ran for 86 yards and one touchdown and, on defense, intercepted a pass.

At the same time, the Rox rolled up 267 yards rushing, led by Clapp with 125 yards.

“If you have a defense that can stop the run, then we’re going to pass. If you have a defense that stops the pass, then we’re going to run. You got to be able to stop both against us,” Clapp said.

Rockville’s defense held Fountain Central to just 29 rushing yards and 200 yards of total offense.

“I just think our defense has continued to play very well throughout the season,” King said.

Rockville took the lead on its second possession of the game. After punter Caleb McMullen and the Rockville defense pinned the Mustangs at their own 15-yard line, the Rox got the ball back with a short 40-yard field. McMullen capped Rockville four-play drive with a six-yard touchdown run.

Fountain Central punter James McElwee put Rockville on its own 1-yard line to open the second quarter. The Rox responded with a 10-play, 99-yard drive, highlighted by Clapp’s 27-yard run to the FC 34. King capped the drive with a 14-yard touchdown run.

Fountain Central got back into the game with an eight-play touchdown drive. Quarterback Clint Smith hooked up with Shane Payton on pass plays of 19 and 25 yards to set up Trent Spears’ one-yard score.

Leading just 12-7, Rockville responded with a touchdown bomb. Harper pulled in King’s pass, broke two tackles and sprinted to the 61-yard touchdown. King ran for the two-point conversion and that killed Fountain Central’s brief momentum.

Three plays later the Rox got the ball back. King found Bridge for a 33-yard gain that set up Harper’s 22-yard touchdown catch.

“We thought we had at a certain point a mismatch and we were able to throw the ball to [Bridge] on certain occasions. He was able to come down with a couple of really nice catches and put us in the lead,” King said.

Leading 26-7 at halftime, the Rox put this sectional title away in the third quarter. King intercepted a Fountain Central pass and four plays later he found Bridge open, this time for a 26-yard touchdown play.

Rockville 41, Fountain Central 14

Rockville 6 20 8 7 — 41

Fountain Central 0 7 0 7 — 14

R — McMullen 6 run (kick blocked) 7:09 1Q.

R — King 14 run (pass failed) 7:24 2Q.

FC — Spear 1 run (Stockdale kick) 2:55 2Q.

R — Harper 61 pass from King (King run) 2:24 2Q.

R — Harper 22 pass from King (pass failed) :59 2Q.

R — Bridge 26 pass from King (Bridge pass from King) :45 3Q.

R — Bridge 14 pass from King (Bettis kick) 5:09 4Q.

FC — Van Cleave 24 pass from Smith (Stockdale kick) 2:09 4Q.


First downs 16 11

Rushes-yards 37-267 28-29

Passing yards 184 171

Com-Att-Int 9-16-0 13-26-1

Return yards 119 59

Fumbles-lost 1-0 0-0

Penalties-yards 6-95 6-50

Individual statistics

Rushing — Rockville: Clapp 11-125, King 16-86, McMullen 10-56. Fountain Central: Payton 10-9, Smith 7-5, Spear 4-3, Pierce 3-8, Shoaf 1-6, McElwee 1-0, Minick 2-(-2).

Passing — Rockville: King 6-19-0 184. Fountain Central: Smith 12-25-1 166; McElwee 1-1-0 5.

Receiving — Rockville: Bridge 4-87, Harper 2-83, Martin 2-9, Clapp 1-5. Fountain Central: Payton 7-118, Van Cleave 5-48, Spear 1-5.

Next — Rockville (12-0) will host Linton (12-0) in the Class A Regional on Friday. Fountain Central finished 7-5.

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