By Matt Nestor
Prep Sports Reporter
New coach Glynn Jones walked into a good situation at Rockford Christian, taking over a team that had a great season the previous year.
But it can also be intimidating trying to place your stamp on the team, not to mention replace several key players from that team.
Game one was a good start for the Royals: 34 first-half points and a stout defense was more than enough for Rockford Christian to pick up a 41-7 win over Hiawatha in their season opener.
Quarterback Coleman Nelson stepped up big for the Royals, completing eight of 10 passes for 142 yards and three touchdowns. In addition to that, he ran for another 45 yards and a touchdown.
“Coleman really stepped up to the plate and did an excellent job,” Jones said of his quarterback. “He made his teammates better, and he got better.”
Ethan Gailey also stepped up for Rockford Christian, running for 106 yards and a touchdown, while Calvin Randall ran for 46 yards and a touchdown.
The Royals will face the CICS/Longwood Panthers next week at home.
In other area action:
• For the first time in 10 seasons, the Stillman Valley Cardinals have lost their season opener. Stillman fell to Aurora Christian 38-20 in a rematch from their IHSA quarterfinals matchup last season.
• Winnebago ran for 331 yards and scored 63 first-half points during a 76-6 win over first-year program Big Rock Crossroads. Six different players scored touchdowns for the Indians during the win.
• Turnovers hurt Christian Life in their 36-26 loss to North Shore Country Day. A 71-yard interception return proved to be the key play for the Raiders en route to the win. Jamar Ellis did his part for the Eagles, catching a pass, completing a touchdown pass, and running for 84 yards and three touchdowns in the loss.
• Rockford Lutheran showed an improved offensive game, putting up 20 points. But a defense that was pointed to as the key to improving still gave up 35 points as the Crusaders fell to Aurora Central Catholic.
From the Aug. 31-Sept. 6, 2011, issue