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A talented senior class for Roosevelt football emerged in 59-0 home victory over Falcons.

PHOTO BY JONATHAN HOUSE - Roosevelt football's Imarion Kelly lines up a pass against La Salle Prep on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021, at Roosevelt High School.

Friday night at Roosevelt High School, it didn't take long to see which squad was the better team.

The Roughriders, hosting 5A's La Salle Prep, scored 40 points in the first quarter and held the Falcons out of the end zone. A touchdown and PAT in the second sent the game into a running clock for the entire second half.

The onslaught from Roosevelt improved it to 1-1 on the season while La Salle fell to 0-2.

Here are three takeaways from the Roughriders stellar night:



Senior spotlight

The rest of the PIL, or in 6A football's case the Special District 1 league, should be on high alert after the game Roosevelt's seniors had.

Quarterback Imarion Kelly did damage in the air, going 10-for-17 for 119 yards and 5 TD passes.

On the ground, fellow senior Lindell Betts carried the rock 16 times for 177 yards with one score, and also caught three passes for 30 yards and another TD.

Jackson Flatner, senior, had two touchdowns, one on a 58-yard rush and the other a 19-yard reception. Demarius Branch, another senior, caught two passes, both for touchdowns, of the 15 and 16-yard variety.



And finally, Dominique McDonald, of course a senior, hauled in a TD reception of 10 yards.

You can get the picture, this team is loaded with playmakers.

"The amount of weapons we have, preparing for our team, as somebody who's coordinated defense in the past, is going to be tough," Roosevelt coach Ryan McCants said. "Like, what do you do? Do you try to stop the run when we have Lindell back there, do you try and protect the pass game and widen us out?"

The answer to McCants' questions are neither, because none of them are good options, as La Salle found out the hard way.

However, having a front row seat to Roosevelt's talented senior class can be a lesson for a Falcons team that has only four seniors listed on their roster.

"Hats off to La Salle for coming out here, I know they're playing a lot of young kids," McCants said. "For them to stick around for four quarters and keep fighting all the way through, hats off to them."

La Salle did fight the whole way, as seen by its closest scoring chance coming in the fourth quarter despite being down 53-0 at the time.

Defense not too shabby

While the offense stole the show for the Roughriders, the defense had plenty of highlights itself.

It actually started with Betts, who grabbed an interception on the Falcons' third play of the game.

That was the first of four interceptions for Roosevelt on the night, including a pick-six from junior MyQuis Fesser.



"On defense, we know our DBs can play man-to-man all game," Betts said. "We have lockdown corners and we know we can guard anything. If we play man-to-man, I feel like we're unstoppable."

The numbers seem to back up Betts' argument as well.

La Salle QB Nathaniel Dominitz went 10-for-28 for 65 yards and the four interceptions. The ground game wasn't effective either, totalling 68 yards, most of which came on a fourth-quarter run of 25 yards by Zach Frazier. The junior finished with 54 yards rushing on 10 carries.

Building momentum

The win comes after Roosevelt dropped its season opener to 5A's North Salem 48-28.

Putting up 59 points and shutting out your next opponent seems like a good way to bounce back though, and McCants hopes his team builds on the win instead of riding too high.

"It's always great to get a win, we got the first one under our belt," McCants said. "The biggest thing is, let's continue to fuel the fire and come out and really work like a really good team should."

Up next for the Roughriders is their first league matchup against Franklin, who fell to 0-2 on the season with a loss at Oregon City.

With the defense seemingly in sync after giving up 48 points in week one, and the senior offensive talent bursting at the seams, Roosevelt hopes the high from Friday can be the foundation toward a league title.

And after an impressive night against La Salle, there might not be many betting against the Roughriders.

"I still have a salty taste in my mouth about last week's loss," Kelly said. "We can't get that one back. All we can do is build off of it and that's what we did (Friday night)."


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