LA VERGNE -- The La Vergne Wolverines opened the season Friday night at the Den with a 44-20 win over the Rockvale Rockets in the school’s inaugural game.
"The game plan was to wear them down, but coach Rice has coached for a long time and his kids did not quit," La Vergne coach Stanton Stevens said.
Leading the way for the Wolverines was Raymond Banner, who had 12 carries for 153 yards and a score. Quarterback LaVandrea Webb threw four passes -- two of them for scores to Keydon Gardner. Webb also ran for two touchdowns in the game.
Rockvale took the opening kickoff and Jamarie Gauldin ran 63 yards to the Wolverine 20. From there, the Rockets ran four plays and scored on a pass of 15 yards from Brenden Hayes to Micah Haskin.
La Vergne turned the ball over on its opening possession and the Rockets took advantage of it, scoring again on an 8-yard run by Lamarius Nelson to take a 13-0 lead. On the ensuing kickoff, Isiah Banner raced 81 yards for a touchdown, cutting the deficit to 13-7 with a little less than five minutes to go in the first quarter.
After La Vergne got a stop, Banner got the ball and raced 40 yards to the end zone to tie it 13-13 as the extra point was blocked. In the second quarter, each team scored once. Nelson scored on a 1-yard run as the Rockets went on a 15-play, 76-yard drive to take a 20-13 lead.
La Vergne came back before the end of the half as Webb hit Gardner for the first of two scores from 34 yards out and Gardner ran it in for two as La Vergne held a 21-20 halftime lead.
"Our offense was pretty good but our defense is not where we want to be right now," Rockvale coach Rick Rice said. "I thought our offensive line played pretty well we are just not strong enough but we will get there.”
In the second half, La Vergne rolled for 23 straight points. The Wolverines took the opening kickoff and scored quick as Banner had a 55-yard run down to the 2-yard line and Webb took it in from 2 yards out and Darrilyn Council scored the 2-point conversion to put LHS up 29-20.
Rockvale was forced to punt on its next possession and the snap was high and the punter recovered at the 15-yard line. La Vergne scored again on a 16-yard run from Webb to make run the lead to 35-20.
La Vergne scored twice more to close things out as Webb threw touchdown to Gardner – this one for 36 yards – as the Wolverines took a 42-20 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Rockvale returner got trapped and was tackled in the end zone for a safety, making the final score 44-20.
"We are just thrilled to get the win that is all that matters," Stevens said.
La Vergne will host Rossview next Friday and Rockvale will play their first home game against Franklin County.
"It will be big for our community and our school,” Rice added. “The people really want a school back in Rockvale and the community support has been tremendous.”