Baldwinsville linebacker Cole Burchill (6) and lineman Alfonzo Whitehurst (72) chase Liverpool quarterback Justin Capoto (3) out of the pocket in Friday night's game. The Bees would go on to beat the Warriors 54-29 and grab a share of first place in the Class AA-1 division.
continued A minute into the fourth quarter, Rouse, taking a handoff on his own 37, broke through three tackles, found a seam on the left side and outran the Liverpool defenders 63 yards to his sixth TD of the night.
And the very next time B'ville had the ball, Rouse offered a carbon copy of that masterpiece, again shedding several tackles before going 57 yards for another TD.
B'ville's defense sealed the victory. Ironically, it was Joe Stanard, whose fumble recovery led to Rouse's first TD early in the first quarter, offering the final blow when he returned a wayward Capoto pass 20 yards for the score.
Though it paled next to his second-half heroics (200 yards on just nine carries), Rouse did manage to gain 188 yards in a workmanlike first half and find the end zone four times. He even recorded a defensive safety, which made it 8-0 late in the opening period.
Trailing 14-0 early in the second quarter, Liverpool used long runs from Edwards and fullback Anthony Miller to get on the board with a pair of TD's - Caleb Taylor scoring on fourth down from nine yards out, Capoto on a one-yard plunge. This, sandwiched in between Rouse's third TD, set up by a pass from Gage Blasi to Shay Sargeant.
Less than two minutes before halftime, Rouse raced 40 yards to the Warriors' 14 and scored on the very next play, but that only hinted at the bigger stuff ahead.
Liverpool head coach Dave Mancuso said his team only had itself to blame, thanks to turnovers, penalties and poor punts that constantly put the Bees in advantageous field position.
“My kids worked really hard,” he said. “He (Tyler) is a great back, but the mistakes we made hurt us.”
B'ville (5-1, 3-1 league) would be assured of no worse than a share of the AA-1 division regular-season title if it beats visiting Utica Proctor next Friday at 6:30 in the regular-season finale. Liverpool, meanwhile, could also tie for the league crown if it wins next Friday at 0-6 Rome Free Academy.