RENSSELAER — Finishing drives hasn’t been a problem for Rensselaer Central the past two Fridays.
The Bombers scored on all six of their offensive possessions in the first half to build a 42-0 lead and cruise to a 56-0 rout of visiting Northwestern at the Harrison Athletic Complex.
Over the past two weeks, the Bombers (5-3) have scored 112 points, punching the ball into the end zone on 14 of 17 offensive possessions. They did it against Benton Central and Northwestern, both of whom have yet to win a game this season.
“If you remember, earlier in the year we’d move the ball down well inside the 30 or 20 yard line and not capitalized on scores,” said Bombers coach Chris Meeks. “We’re getting a lot better.”
It’s the fourth time in eight games that the Tigers (0-8) have been shutout. They have scored just four touchdowns this season.
Junior running back Dylan Kidd had another strong offensive game, rushing for 124 yards on 11 carries with three touchdowns. He has now gained 1,003 rushing yards on the season with 16 touchdowns.
He scored on runs of 3 and 9 yards in the first quarter and added a 21-yard TD run in the second quarter. He also hauled in a 28-yard TD pass from junior quarterback Tate Drone in the second quarter.
Kelton Hesson had a 34-yard touchdown run that gave RCHS a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and Drone’s 4-yard TD pass to Ryan Stokes in the end zone produced a 28-0 lead.
In the second half, back-up tailback Colton Metzger had a 38-yard touchdown run and Hesson picked off a pass and returned it 32 yards for the game’s final score.
Hesson had 54 rushing yards on three carries with a score. Metzger had 50 yards on just three carries with a touchdown and Drone completed 3 of 9 passes for 46 yards and two touchdowns. He did throw an interception.
Jordan Cree led the defense with nine tackles, including a sack, and Jacoby Tiede-Souza also had an interception.
Northwestern was held to 71 total yards, including 87 yards rushing on 31 plays. Jaelyn Fowler did manage 53 yards on six carries for the Tigers.
Meeks said the team tweaked the kicking game in terms of kick-offs this week.
“We were struggling a little bit in terms of kickoffs. I think we’ve got something good going,” he said. “Our guys got down there several times and held them deep. It gave them a long field to work with and they’ve struggled to score all year so I thought that was important. Defensively, we executed our game plan very well. Put a lot pressure at the line of scrimmage, blanketed their receivers. Offensively, we just pounded the rock. That’s what we’ve got to do to be successful.”
Friday’s game was the sixth at home in the past seven games for the Bombers, who will be on the road next week for a Hoosier Conference crossover game. An opponent has yet to be determined.
Northwestern will likely host winless Benton Central (0-8) next Friday. The top team in the west division, West Lafayette (7-1), will travel to east division champion Western (7-1) for the conference title.
“We’re clicking right now, we want to keep clicking and keep improving,” Meeks said. “We’ve got to be playing our best football when we get in the tournament.”