Roncalli senior running back Baron Huebler was eager for action, and it showed.
Huebler rushed for 266 yards on 32 carries, including four touchdowns, to lead the home squad to a 36-6 rout of Franklin Central Friday night.
Roncalli was playing its first game, as the season opener at Southport was canceled a few hours before the game due to a confirmed case of COVID-19 by a Cardinal player.
“Getting canceled last week at 3:30 p.m., we were all ready to go,” Huebler said. “We just came into tonight’s game well prepared.”
Huebler scored on runs of 8, 3 and 48 yards in the first half and added a 3-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.
“The offensive line made some great holes tonight,” Huebler said. “They played very, very well.”
First-year coach John Rodenberg said Huebler was a workhorse.
“(Huebler) is a primary player for us, but we have to keep working on our passing so we’re not one-dimensional,” he said. “We don’t want to put all the weight on one guy’s shoulders.”
The Flashes (1-1) scored first when Roncalli had to recover a fumbled snap on a punt at its own 1-yard line. Josh Ruley’s 1-yard TD came on second down.
“After we got the three-and-out and whiffed punt, we never gave up,” Huebler said. “We took one play at a time and got some big runs and took over from there.”
After that, it was all Roncalli. Huebler’s first three touchdown runs followed and then quarterback Aidan Leffler scored from 4 yards out to make it 27-6. Leffler completed 12 of 22 passes for 69 yards with one interception.
Luke Russell kicked a 43-yard field goal as time expired in the opening half to give Roncalli a 30-6 halftime lead.
“The second half was a bit iffy,” Huebler said. “The first half was good but can definitely play better in the second half.”
Rosenberg agreed he wasn’t pleased with the second half.
“It was a good first win,” he said. “We’ve got a long way to go to get better and that is what we’re going to do. We’re going to keep striving to get better and go to work tomorrow. It’s that old adage, it’s the second game when you make your most improvement.”
Rodenberg said he was glad for the players they finally got to play.
"Every football team in the country has been through a lot (during the pandemic), so to see them come out and play football, I feel good about that,” he said.
Roncalli benefited from four turnovers by the Flashes, including three interceptions.
Overall, Huebler said it was a satisfying start.
“Sophomore and junior year we lost to both FC and Southport, so to beat FC really means a lot to the senior group,” he said.
Roncalli will host Bishop Chatard next week.