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updated: 10/21/2011 10:55 PM

Burlington Central rolls over Marengo

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By Allen Oshinski
Daily Herald Correspondent

As playoff tuneups go, this one wasn't too bad.

Joel Bouagnon rushed for 261 yards and scored 4 touchdowns as Burlington Central thumped Marengo, 55-3, in its regular-season finale Friday night.

Ryan Ritchie threw for 2 scores and ran for a third as the Rockets rolled in Big Northern East action in Marengo.

After a ragged start, the Rockets got rolling in the second quarter. They scored 21 points in the second and matched that in the third.

Bouagnon scored on runs of 31, 84, and 68 yards, and returned an interception 39 yards for a fourth TD.

"The line was definitely a big part of it," said Bouagnon. "On that last rushing touchdown, there was just a ridiculous hole. I have to give that to the line; I haven't seen a hole that big all season."

The Rockets had plenty of big holes to run through all night, piling up 358 yards on the ground.

Zach Ranney and Chandler Crary caught touchdown passes from Ritchie, who scored himself on a nifty, 40-yard quarterback draw late in the first half.

Jake Daffron also scored for the Rockets (7-2, 4-1).

"We came out solid in the second half," said Rockets coach Rich Crabel. "We got a lot of kids opportunities to play in the second half. Those kids work hard just like everyone else."

The Rockets now step into the Class 5A playoffs, after playing mostly 4A competition during the regular season.

"In the 5A playoffs, there's nowhere to hide," Crabel said. "We're going to have to be ready to go right out of the gate."

Cody Bauman had 69 yards on the ground for Marengo (4-5, 2-3), which saw its playoff hopes dashed. The Indians' only points came on Sergio Orozco's 27-yard field goal just before halftime.

Central scored the only points of an otherwise choppy first quarter. The Rockets' 61-yard scoring drive consisted of 24-, 6- and 31-yard runs by Bouagnon.

The Rockets killed a couple of other drives with penalties. But in the second quarter, things started to click. Ritchie found Ranney wide open for a 22-yard TD. On Central's next possession, Bouagnon headed off right tackle, turned the corner and raced untouched 84 yards up the sideline.

After Andrew Yarwood recovered a Marengo fumble, the Rockets got one more chance and took advantage, as Ritchie took it in himself from 40 yards out.

Burlington kept it right up, scoring on its first 2 offensive plays of the second half. Ritchie found Crary for a 53-yard TD and Bouagnon scored on a 68-yard run the next time the Rockets saw the ball.

Daffron added a 5-yard scoring run late in the third quarter, and Bouagnon's interception return finished the scoring.

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