A little R and R was all Burlington Central needed.
The combination of quarterback Ryan Ritchie and receiver Zach Ranney connected for 3 touchdowns and Ritchie threw 5 TD passes in all as the Central Rockets routed the Rock Falls Rockets, 56-0, on Rocket Hill Friday night in a Big Northern Conference crossover game.
Joel Bouagnon ran for 163 yards and 2 scores on just 7 carries as Central (2-1) had a running clock by mid-third quarter.
"We definitely moved the ball better, that's what we're trying to focus on on offense," said Ritchie. "And the defense definitely took care of business. All in all it was a great game."
That defense harassed Rock Falls' freshman quarterback Jacob Mammoser all night, intercepting him 5 times and sacking him 4 times.
Johnny Major had 2 of the interceptions, and Dishon Rambo returned the last one 67 yards for Central's final touchdown. Ranney also had an interception, as did Nate Reed.
Chandler Crary and Troy Klingberg each had 2 sacks.
Offensively, the Central Rockets came up with big plays all night. Ritchie connected with Ranney on scoring passes of 50, 11, and 30 yards. He also threw TDs to Al Willett and Joe Breeden.
Bouagnon scored on runs of 52 and 56 yards.
"Ryan and Ranney are a real good combination," said Burlington coach Rich Crabel. "We've got a whole bunch of receivers. Ranney's real talented, and we've just got to find ways to get the ball to all our different threats. We haven't got all that figured out yet, but those two are a real nice tandem."
The only thing Crabel and his Rockets were concerned about was the number of penalties. Central was flagged 12 times for 120 yards while Rock Falls drew 5 flags for 55 yards.
Central jumped offsides on the first 2 plays from scrimmage, handing Rock Falls a first down. But Central's defense held the visitors to minus 8 yards on the next 3 plays, forcing a punt. On Central's fourth play from scrimmage, Ritchie found Ranney wide open, the senior receiver raced 50 yards into the end zone, and the rout was on.
On its next possession, Rock Falls reached the Burlington 13, its deepest penetration of the night. But the Rockets turned it over on downs, and it took Central just 3 plays to score. Bouagnon covered the final 52 yards, mostly down the right sideline.