Looking at the score board the last two weeks of the football season appeared very tough for the Rockland Bulldogs. RHS dropped their senior night game to Calvary Chapel of Idaho Falls 74-34 on Friday, Oct 25, and then fell to Lighthouse Christian 54-8 during their play-in game for a berth at the state tournament on Friday, Nov. 1, in Jerome.
Coach Lalo Hidalgo said despite the scores the experience was a good thing for the Bulldogs.
“We scored against Lighthouse which is not something a lot of teams have done this season,” said Hidalgo.
Finding the speed to keep pace with Lighthouse was difficult.
“Defensively we could not keep up with them. They are a very fast team. On the offensive side we were not able to pass because Lighthouse’s speed gives them excellent pass coverage,” said Hidalgo.
Staying on the ground helped the Bulldogs against the Twin Falls school.
“We were very effective on the ground. Aaron Kirby picked up a lot of yards and Rex Permann was able to run the ball effectively. As a team we racked up a lot of yards, but could not find the end zone,” Hidalgo said.
Injuries were another factor that played an important role during the play-in game.
“I started a lot of freshmen in places they had never played before. We were missing a few key players because of injuries, especially players we look to for our passing game. I was impressed with the younger players and how they held their own in those new positions, especially Preston Medinger at safety and Zach Smith at halfback,” Hidalgo said.
Despite the strong effort the game ended early when the mercy-rule was invoked during the third quarter.
The Bulldogs held their senior night on Friday, Oct. 25, before facing Calvary Chapel of Idaho Falls. RHS honored seniors Aaron Kirby, Drake Medinger, Caleb Bradshaw and exchange student Gabriel Freitas.
Speed was once again a factor for the Bulldogs.
“We thought we were prepared for them, but their speed surprised us,” said Hidalgo.
Hidalgo said facing faster teams is a good experience for the younger players.
“We got several of our younger players into the game. I was impressed by how they stood in there and tried to keep up. It is good for them to get the experience of playing against a different style of play,” said Hidalgo.
Smith made his presence known.
“I got Zach into the game and he was able to score. He had a really good game,” said Hidalgo.