LAVERGNE -- In a back and forth affair, the Rossview Hawks picked up their first win of the 2019 season with a 33-26 victory over the La Vergne Wolverines at Freedom Field.
Rossview was led by crisp passing by senior quarterback Gabe Sibert, who completed nine of 12 passes and threw a pair of scores, one to sophomore Diivonte Phillips in the first quarter and the other on an 80-yard strike to KJ Montague a minute before halftime.
“We thought we could take advantage of some short stuff and open up the running game and we did that. We blocked well on the edge,” Rossview coach Mike Hood said. “We had a quarterback change this week and (Sibert) throws a good ball, he’s a good playmaker so we wanted to get him involved more.”
Sibert picked apart the La Vergne defense with crisp passes primarily to Phillips and Alshon Davis. While Sibert was meticulous with his passing, Phillips was a force on the ground and scored two touchdowns, including going untouched for 35-yards in the second quarter.
“He just runs hard in practice,” Hood said. “He stood out over everybody. He sort of fell by the waysides with the other running backs but he’s stepped up and carried the load for us.”
Rossview’s defense was able to keep the Wolverines at bay with some key stops in the first half. A fake punt attempt by La Vergne punter Dagem Samuel was snuffed out in the first quarter, Mark-Anthony Prescott sacked quarterback Lavandrea Webb three times and Seneca Bradley intercepted Webb in the second quarter.
“Bend but don’t break, get tough when we need to get tough,” Hood said. “Give them credit. They made some huge plays in the passing game before half. We played a little bit better defensively in the second half, but they had some huge playmakers going up and getting the ball.”
La Vergne claimed its first lead of the game in the third quarter with a ball dominant possession to open the second half. The Wolverines received the half’s opening kickoff and held the ball for seven and a half minutes. On a fourth and goal at the two, Webb was able to squeeze out of a gaggle of Hawk defenders and found an open receiver in the back of the endzone.
“Our mindset was just get a score,” La Vergne coach Stanton Stevens. “Get a score and go up.”
But the lead would not hold as Rossview responded with a touchdown of its own, this time by way of Samuel driving it on the goal line. Siebert would put the nail in the coffin for Rossview with a seven-yard touchdown run with just under three minutes to play in the game.
“I don’t know where we were going into this game,” Hood said. “We played a good first game, but our offense had been sort of sluggish. For those guys to come out and respond, I think our offense is catching on a little bit. I think they’re blocking better; I think they have more confidence in themselves. All of those combinations were a big plus tonight and give our confidence to move the ball and put points up on the board.”