TRAVIS — The Florence offense kept the Rosebud-Lott offense off the field, running nearly twice as many plays and combining for 464 rushing yards on its way to a 52-19 victory on Friday night at Cougar Field in Buffaloes head coach Joey McQueen’s debut.
“Our offense that we run is the Slot-T and we hope that we dominate the game and keep the opposing offense of the field,” McQueen said. “We try to say that our best defense is our offense, even though our defense played awesome tonight.
“We had 52 plays at halftime and our goal is to have 65 in a whole game. We probably ended up with over 80, so that’s exciting. Our goal is to put a better product on the field than we had last year and we can do that then we’ll start being successful.”
Ballard, a 1996 graduate of Rosebud-Lott, returned home to coach the Cougars, but the Buffaloes’ ball-control offense prevented Ballard from having a happy homecoming.
Florence almost had three players rush for triple-digit numbers. Lendell Freeman led the way with 138 yards on 13 carries. Garrett Gray added 108 yards on 20 carries and Fernando Ortiz rushed for 99 yards on 20 carries. Edel Hernandez had 74 yards on 12 carries.
The Buffaloes took the lead for good when Ortiz caught a 7-yard scoring pass from quarterback Reid Shillingburg late in the second quarter. The extra point gave Florence a 14-13 edge.
Florence opened the third quarter with a scoring drive capped by a 7-yard scoring run by Freeman. A 31-point outburst in the fourth quarter, which included a touchdown scamper by Hernandez, Gray’s second scoring run, a touchdown run by Shillingburg, a 30-yard field goal by Schillingburg and a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown by Mason Lansford, put the game away.