By Michael BRUER
The Rosemont Middle School Spartans’ flag football team notched their second shutout of the season on Jan. 30 with a dominating 20-0 victory over visiting Wilson. The Spartans improved to 3-1 and travel to play Roosevelt this week. The team received two touchdowns from eighth-grade running back Louie Pintado, who opened the scoring floodgates on his second carry of the game, and second overall play from scrimmage for the Spartans. Pintado bookended the scoring for Rosemont, reaching the end zone again in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.
Wilson received the ball first, and three downs later punted it back to the home team. Rosemont capitalized on its possession, benefitting from a sizable kickoff return by Ayden Blackwood. The favorable field position allowed Pintado to break open two runs, the second of which resulted in a touchdown and a 6-0 lead.
Wilson continued to struggle on offense, punting for a second time and throwing two interceptions on their other two possessions of the half. The Spartans threw an interception of their own, as defensive back Darian Jenks of the Knights opened the second quarter with a pick. Rosemont continued to display defensive prowess by forcing the interceptions, as Timothy Choi followed Mike Sorokin’s interception with one of his own in the first half.
While the Spartans’ offense struggled in the third quarter, their defense continued to shine, forcing a turnover on downs that led to a touchdown for Blackwood on the first play of the fourth quarter. Colin Jacobs caught the ball in the end zone on the ensuing play, securing two extra points for the Spartans for the 14-0 lead.
Spartans’ Coach Mustain was proud of his offensive line for putting in the work.
“Our offensive line did a really good job of opening up holes,” he said. “They got their hands on them, they moved their feet – they just did a great job blocking today. We knew it would be a little wet, so we would have to run the ball more. The wings too – Colin Jacobs and Ayden Blackwood – did a great job blocking on the edge.”
Rosemont rounded out their scoring with a tremendous effort from Pintado.
“On the second one, I got the pitch, I read the blocks, all the defenders were [again] on my right side, so I cut back on the left side and headed up field,” he said. “I only had the safety [to beat], and he almost got me but I juked him and scored the touchdown.”
The score put the game on ice as Rosemont extended their lead to 20-0 before the final whistle.
“Our kids executed very well today,” Mustain said. “We had a great week of practice – we prepared very well. We knew what they were going to run, we thought we had an idea of what they would adjust to, so we anticipated that. Our kids rise up, they listen. We coach our kids on the triple As of football: alignment, assignment, adjustment. That’s on both sides of the ball. Our kids really gravitate towards that. They feed into that, and understand their role.”