Rich East senior Nick Horne said he’s been playing football since he was five years old and “never carried the football in my life.”
That changed Saturday afternoon. Horne started for injured fullback Carleto Jackson and ran 22 times for 213 yards and two touchdowns to help the host Rockets win the Sauk Trail Super Bowl Trophy with a 48-20 victory over Rich South Saturday afternoon in Park Forest.
Horne and quarterback Malcolm Miller (167 yards on nine carries and two TDs) helped the Rockets (5-2 overall, 3-0 Southland) rack up 473 yards – all on the ground. Kenneth Naylor ran in three touchdowns for Rich East.
“When I was young I was always the biggest kid so I was always the wide receiver or quarterback,” the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Horne said. “This was really fun; It was a lot more physical.’’
East led 28-20 in a wild first half that featured 436 yards of offense and eight plays of 20 yards or more yards.
East closed that half with a big defensive stop. The Stars had the ball at the Rockets’ 1-yard line in the final minute but linebacker Alioko Stevens stopped running back Wilbert Voss III for a four-yard loss with :25 left. Rich South was whistled for an illegal procedure penalty and fumbled the ball away to waste a scoring opportunity. The Stars visited the red zone three more times in the second half but could not score.
Defensive end Shamond Kemp had a sack, a fumble recovery and forced a fumble. Jamal Greenwood recovered a fumble and Naylor had an interception for the Rockets.
Quarterback Brendon Zachery was 18-for-37 for 214 yards and two TDs for the Stars (3-4, 2-2).