By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
On day one of the Streetsboro football team’s offensive install, head coach Pete Thompson outlines distinct rules for specific blocking responsibilities on the edge.
Crack-down blocks, stalk blocks and more.
Along with his staff, he introduces how to identify when to use each one, then how to execute them.
On Friday, there was plenty of execution for the Rockets.
In the team’s Homecoming game, Streetsboro rolled to a convincing 40-6 victory over the visiting Field Falcons, with an offense that continually sprung senior standout Preston Hopperton to chunk-runs on crack-down blocks near the line of scrimmage.
With Hopperton’s elite speed, the blocks were more than enough to create space and lanes for him to navigate.
Hopperton, who was crowned as the Homecoming King just before kickoff, finished the game with 125 yards on 16 carries and he scored four touchdowns.
It wasn’t just Hopperton that benefitted, with quarterback Cohen Klimak rushing for 76 yards on 12 carries, earning most of his yards on read-option keeps. Kylan Rue also had a nice game on the ground, using his seven carries to amass 58 yards.
As a team, the Rockets (6-1, 3-1) rushed for 268 yards on 36 attempts.
In addition to the Rockets’ efficient blocking schemes, they also kept the Falcons on their heels by lining up in a large variety of formations, including one formation that would have probably left any football mind confused.
Except for Thompson and his Rockets.
“I will stop short from telling you what we call it, but we have a formation where I let the players decide on the field where they are going to line up,” Thompson said. “Obviously, if you need to be on the line, then that player is on the line, but other than that, it is really just a formation for them to figure out while they are out there. I always tell them, we will run it once a game or so, but as soon as we run it and we lose a yard, we won’t run it again for the rest of the season.”
That collection of formations are an important part of the Rockets’ offense.
“We want to try to go into as many formations as possible throughout a game. That is what we do,” Thompson said. “We are looking to create an advantage with our blocking and it really becomes a numbers game. We want more blockers than there are defensive players.”
Streetsboro scored Friday’s first 32 points, scoring on the opening drive on an 18-yard pass from Klimak to Hunter Smith, who was uncovered near the back left corner of the end zone.
Hopperton then scored the first of his four touchdowns with 2:57 on the clock.
The Rockets scored two more touchdowns in the second quarter, a 10-yard run by Klimak and a 9-yard run by Hopperton, closing out the first-half scoring and giving Streetsboro a 26-0 lead at halftime.
Hopperton scored two more third-quarter TDs (8 yards and 2 yards), which were sandwiched around Field’s lone score of the game, which was a 5-yard run by Drexal McAmis.
McAmis was the leader offensively for the Falcons (2-5, 2-2) with 121 yards on 25 carries.
The win kept the Rockets one game back of Norton in the Metro Athletic Conference standings.
The Rockets are attempting to clinch a tie of the MAC title after losing to the Panthers (7-0, 3-0 MAC), who defeated Springfield on Friday 55-7, in Week 4.
Streetsboro’s remaining opponents include Woodridge next Friday for Week 8, then home vs. Springfield in Week 9 and at Coventry in Week 10.
Norton’s remaining opponents include at Cloverleaf next Friday, then back-to-back home games to end the year vs. Field and Ravenna.
“We feel like over the last three weeks, we have started to execute on a very high level,” Thompson said. “We still have some things that we need to work on, but we are moving in the right direction as a team.”
After losing to Norton 35-14 in Week 4, the Rockets have outscored their opponents 145-20 in three victories.