(Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021 edition)
It didn’t take long for the Rhea Middle School Eagle football team to set the tone on eighth grade night and get the 38-6 victory over county rival Dayton City School Sweatbees on Thursday at Eagle Stadium.
RMS quarterback, Mason Ford, scored on a 53-yard TD run just 40 seconds into the game to give the Eagles the early lead, followed up with Aiden Wilkerson’s 2-point conversion.
After forcing the Sweatbees to punt on the ensuing series, Eagle running back, Jaden Hyatte, raced 52 yards up the middle for the RMS score. The 2-point try was stopped by DCS and the Eagles led 14-0 with 3:09 left in the first quarter.
On Dayton City’s next drive, Jacob Martinez outran the Eagle D’ for a 34-yard gain to the RMS 36-yard line. A few plays later, the Sweatbees converted a 4-down-and-5 play with a 13-yard pass completion from Bryce Garrison to Noah Edwards, reaching the Eagle 18-yard line. However, the RMS defense tightened, held and DCS turned the ball over on downs.
Rhea Middle’s next drive included a 24-yard pickup from Hyatte, a 23-yard pass completion from Ford to Wilkerson, before Ford got in for the 2-yard TD run at the 3:11 mark of the second quarter. Wilkerson scored the 2-point conversion and the Eagles led 22-0.
Dayton City moved the ball downfield again, this time, with a nice 12-yard pass from Garrison to Edwards. But, Rhea Middle’s Eli Evans halted the drive with an interception inside the Eagles’ 20-yard line with just 25 ticks left before halftime. Wilkerson went 62 yards to the DCS 22-yard line, as the Eagles’ threatened another score before the break, but the Sweatbees’ defense stopped the drive.
After a DCS fumble on the first drive of the second half, recovered by Rhea Middle’s Justus Messimer, the Eagles set up shop near midfield. Wilkerson picked up 25 yard on a run, followed up with a 27-yard gain from Hyatte. Messimer scored on a 7-yard run and also completed the 2-point try to give the Eagles a 30-0 lead with 3:44 left in the third quarter.
The Sweatbees drove to the Rhea Middle 8-yard line, threatening a score, before turning the ball over on downs. On the first play for the Eagles, Wilkerson went 92 yards up the middle to pay dirt. Messimer converted the 2-point try and RMS led 38-0 at the 7:03 mark of the fourth quarter.
The Sweatbees scored on their next series with a 19-yard TD pass from Garrison to Parker Kauffman with three minutes left in the game. The 2-point try was no good, as the Eagles secured the win.
Prior to the game, eighth grade members of the Rhea Middle football, chorus, band and cheer teams were celebrated and honored with coaches and family members at midfield.
Those eighth grade members are as follows:
Football — Mason Ford, Aiden Wilkerson, Lukas Brown, Jaden Hyatte, Bryan Greene, Dylan Greene, Jordan Bell, Jonathan Bond, James Ballard, Eli Evans, Justus Messimer, Weston Barnes, John Montgomery, Trigo Velasquez, Hayden Hickman, Anthony Akina, Jameson Arnold, Chace Wilkey, Aaron Simpson, Ethan Sharp, Max Daughtrey, Elijah Newhouse and Carson Smith.
Chorus — Gabby Bruce, Paige Cornett, Chloe Cooper, Maycen Davis, Lexi Defur, Natalie Edmonds, Brooke Eldridge, Fancy Etherton, Aleanah Gilliam, Baylee Hooper, Payton Jones, Kloe Reeves, Katie Revis, Erica Shadden, Luciana Shaffer and Hunter Young.
Band — Karagan Alexander, Tucker Bradshaw, Gabby Bruce, Ayden Burwick, Sean Carlyle, Jason Clark, Eli Day, Elis Dominguez-Sanchez, Paxton Dunn, Jesse Graham, Ethan Griffin, Lily Hilliard, Sadie Huffaker, Payton Jones, Grace Kimsey, Jamison Knight, Brooke Leffew, Jennifer Lopez-Cruz, Irving Lopez-Dejesus, Joshua McClean, Carson Mitchell, Emma Neal, Travis Pelfrey, Ralea Sales-Grun, Che Santiago-Bautista, Mason Stinnett, Isaiah Wilson and Ethan Fisher.
Cheer — Lily Jewell, Kamryn Swafford, Harley Dugger, Jaylin Cosby (captain), Abigail Ballard, Makenzie Brock, Kynlin Shelfer and Courtney Akins.