SUMMERVILLE – When Summerville running back K.J. Rollins found out Friday night that he wasn’t going to start against cross-town rival Ashley Ridge, he didn’t pout or get mad.
OK, the 5-9, 165-pound junior was a little disappointed.
But Rollins, who didn’t have a carry in the opening half, came off the bench and rushed for 151 yards and scored two touchdowns in the second half to lead Summerville past Ashley Ridge, 42-31, in the opening game of the Region 8-AAAAA schedule for both teams.
The Green Wave (4-2, 1-0) rolled up more than 400 yards of total offense, including 279 yards on the ground against the Swamp Foxes defense. Ashley Ridge dropped to 2-4, 0-1.
Rollins, who scored on a 63-yard run that gave the Green Wave a 42-31 lead late in the fourth quarter, carried the ball 16 times over the final two quarters.
“Yeah, I was a little disappointed that I didn’t start, but I wanted to be a good teammate and support my brothers on the sidelines,” Rollins said. “We got the win, the offensive line played great and that’s all that matters.”
Derrion Larry, a 5-9, 210-pound senior, started for the Green Wave at running back and finished with 79 yards in the first half.
“We’ve got three really good running backs and the guy that is locked in, focused during practice was going to start,” said Summerville coach Joe Call. “It’s nothing against K.J., he had a good week, too. Practice is competitive during the week. Derrion had a great week of practice, but we told all three of them that just because you are not starting you need to be ready. We’re going to need you eventually.”
Rolllins’ heroics overshadowed an outstanding performance from Ashley Ridge quarterback Matt Duncan. Duncan had more than 330 yards of total offense, completing 16 of 32 passes for 170 yards and rushing for 162 yards and a TD.
“Matt was unbelievable,” said Ashley Ridge coach Kenny Walker. “He was awesome. He ran the ball well, made good decisions. He’s a load and he’s fighting for extra yards every time he touches the ball. He’s tough. He had a bloody nose and didn’t want to come out of the game. It’s been doing that for us for four years. We just need to find a way to make a couple of plays in crucial times.”
The Swamp Foxes led 28-14 after Troy Grant converted on a hook-and-ladder play that went 67 yards for a TD in the opening minutes of the third quarter.
Summerville answered when Brody Hopkins hauled in a 73-yard TD pass from Colby Shirey just three plays later to cut the gap to 28-21 with 10:22 left in the third quarter. After an interception Rollins capped off a short drive with a 1-yard TD run to tie the game at 28-28.
Then Summerville’s Perry Wilder scored on a 45-yard jet sweep to give the Green Wave the lead for good, 35-28, with 2:25 to play in the third quarter.
“When they got up two touchdowns, I thought ‘oh no’ but we didn’t panic,’” Call said. “We faced some adversity and the kids responded. It was nice to get that first region win over a big rival.”