By Richard Sharp
Lake Area Sports
ROSE BUD-Returning to the Friday night lights after a week off that moved Homecoming festivities to the following game, the Rose Bud Ramblers would fall to the visiting Rector Cougars in heartbreaking fashion by a 18-16 score in eight-man football action.
The Ramblers’ secret weapon this season, Canton Moody, used his large frame to barrel his way in for the game’s first touchdown, adding on a two-point conversion that was successful after quarterback Gus Eubanks found his receiver on the left side in Peyton Edwards, making it 8-0 early on.
After forcing a turnover on downs that gave the offense the ball back, Rose Bud would set up to punt on fourth down, however the football would get away from Eubanks, who would fall onto it at the two yard line, setting up a Rector touchdown on their first play from scrimmage courtesy of a run from senior back Joseph Baker, coming up empty on the two-point try after the defense got to the quarterback for a sack.
Baker came through again for his team with time ticking down in the first half, working his way through traffic for a 10-yard touchdown run that gave the Cougars their first lead of the night at 12-8.
Down but not out, Moody put Rose Bud back out in front for the final time on a short run that would break the plain for six more points, shaking off three defenders while making it look easy, tacking on two more after putting his head down to bring the score to 16-12 with 4:43 remaining in the third frame.
Attempting to slow the game down and use the game and play clocks to their advantage, Rector marched their way downfield and turned the drive into a 20-yard touchdown reception for Sam Shipley, the first pass completion recorded against the Ramblers in eight quarters of play.
With under two minutes to go in the ball game and the ball at the 10, Eubanks faced pressure from the Cougar defensive line, who was able to escape being sacked and threw a long and high pass that was picked off by senior Landon McClung at the 35 to seal the deal on the road victory, running the clock down via victory formation.
Rose Bud, who was scheduled to take on Midland in the previous week before the game was called off due to COVID-19 complications at the Independence County school, were also set to take on Marianna-Lee but will have to set out another week due to ML declaring to not participate in fall sports.
Instead, the Ramblers will play in front of their home fans for a final time in the regular season for Senior Night, welcoming Woodlawn to town, who are also fairly new to the eight-man football scene.