TAHLEQUAH — Joel Rockmore’s incredible run of football came to an end Saturday at Doc Wadley Stadium. The sophomore running back — second in the MIAA in rushing — must have just been deferring to his senior teammates.
After all, it was Senior Day.
Senior wideout, Chucky Bryant, more than doubled his previous career touchdown total by catching three touchdown passes while finishing with four receptions for 43 yards as the RiverHawks coasted past Lincoln, 45-21, in NSU’s regular-season home finale.
“It’s a great way to go out like that on my senior night,” said Bryant, a former standout at Tahlequah High School. “I’m very proud. That’s all.”
Bryant — who entered the final home game of his career with 159 receiving yards this season and only one touchdown during his time in a RiverHawks’ uniform — got into a groove early with quarterback Johnny Deaton. The two connected on the RiverHawks’ first play from scrimmage — a 20-yard strike — before capping off NSU’s initial drive with a 10-yard scoring connection.
It was Bryant’s first touchdown catch of the season. But he wasn’t done there.
Early in the second quarter, Bryant, who matched a season-high with four receptions, caught his second touchdown pass on a 4-yard connection with Deaton.
“He got us started,” NSU head coach Kenny Evans said of Bryant. “Chucky was really good ... and I’m excited from him because he’s such a key player for us, and for him to make some great plays is a great way for him to finish up his senior year.”
Lincoln (1-9, 1-9 MIAA) hung around early, though, while Deaton and Bryant continued to rack up touchdowns. The Blue Tigers tied the game at seven in the first quarter (on quarterback Jacob Morris’ 9-yard run) and at 14 in the second quarter (on Donald Malone’s 5-yard run).