By Rob Potter
ROSCOE September 14, 2004 The visiting Hancock Wildcats wasted little time in taking control of Saturdays non-league football game versus the Roscoe Blue Devils.
Hancock, a Section IV Class D team, scored its first touchdown in the first two minutes of the game. The Wildcats then added three more TDs in the opening quarter to take a commanding 27-0 lead.
The Wildcats expanded that advantage to 53-0 at halftime on their way to a 73-0 domination of the Blue Devils.
After recovering a surprise onsides kick on the opening kickoff, Hancock (2-0) needed only three plays to score.
On third-and-nine from the Roscoe 48, Nunzio Lombardo started up the middle and then broke to the outside and outran the Blue Devil defenders to the end zone.
Roscoes Troy Kirchner deflected the subsequent 2-point pass away from the intended Wildcat receiver to keep it a 6-0 game with 10:38 remaining in the first quarter.
But after Roscoe (0-2) was forced to punt, Wildcat tailback Evan Appley capped a seven-play drive with a 13-yard touchdown run. Fullback Dustin MacRabie rushed for the 2-point conversion to give Hancock a 14-0 lead.
Appley scored three other touchdowns and Lombardo added a 43-yard touchdown as the Wildcats handed the Blue Devils a lopsided loss.
Roscoe had a few bright spots in the game, however. Midway through the second quarter, Dustin Sullivan lined up as the quarterback in a shotgun formation as the Blue Devils took possession on their own 36-yard line.
After throwing three passes and scrambling for a first down, Sullivan had the Roscoe offense set up with a first-and-10 at the Wildcat 30.
But Hancock linebacker Brock Flynn quelled what could have been the Blue Devils best opportunity to reach the end zone when he picked off Sullivans next pass.
Flynn then scampered down the sideline 75 yards for a touchdown that gave the Wildcats a 46-0 advantage with just over four minutes left until halftime.
Our game plan was to come out and get a quick start, Hancock Coach Walt Smith said.
We wanted to grab an early lead because Fred is a great coach and he gets so much out of his players.
After his teams 14-7 victory over Eldred on September 3, Smith noted that speed was a key factor in the contest.
He came to the same conclusion after Saturdays win.
We had the speed where we could get to the outside and up the field, Smith commented. And that made a difference today.
Roscoes Fred Ahart, now in his 26th year at the helm, agreed with Smith that the games opening moments were key.
Hancock has a great team and they really took control of the ball game early, Ahart said. I give Hancock a lot of credit.
He also found some positives in the defeat. One was that Sullivan and his teammates wanted to go back to the shotgun formation and passing game after the team focused on running the ball early in the second half.
I was proud of the team, Ahart said.
They wanted to keep passing the ball and try to score at least once. They played hard until the final whistle and I give them credit for that.