Rockets defense making noise, fueling Unity football into rivalry game

Sports

TOLONO (WCIA) — You’ve seen the turnover chain in Miami.

You probably didn’t see the Akron turnover pencil but it’s a thing.

And now Unity has the turnover bell. The Rockets ring it after every turnover or 3-and-out, and there have been plenty of opportunities lately. Unity hasn’t allowed a point since week one, pitching back-to-back shutouts.

“It’s really something,” Unity senior cornerback Payton Plackett said about the bell. “It gets the whole team hyped. It hypes up the offense and I think in the future weeks, we can get more shutouts.”

“It’s a great feeling,” Unity senior defensive end Cade Scott said about ringing the bell. “It also shows that the offseasons work that we put in is starting to pay off.”

The Rockets aren’t doing anything different as far as their scheme, they’re just just being more aggressive on that side of the ball.

“Nothing in particular,” Scott said about the defense compared to last year. “Just the mindset and thinking you’re the baddest dude out there.”

What they did add, was experience to the coaching staff. Scott Hamilton has two former head coaches on the sideline with him this season. Former Argenta-Oreana leader Chad Eisenmenger and former Central and Judah Christian head coach Nate Albaugh.

“To have guys that have had head coaching experience and come back, and Chad’s even got the added touch that he played for me, coached for me, went and became a head coach, and then came back,” Unity head coach Scott Hamilton said. “So those things are all nice to have. You can’t ever have too much experience, you can’t ever have too many eyes.”

All the help has benefited in a major way. They’re focused on flying to the ball, something Albaugh brought with him to the team.

“In all the years I’ve coached, anywhere, I’ve never seen a group of kids who fly to the ball the way these guys do,” Eisenmenger said. “They’re hustle is tremendous. It’s not something you teach, it’s just something that they have and it makes it a lot of fun to coach these guys.”

Dating back to the end of last season, Unity has shutout three of its last four opponents. The Rockets sit at 2-1 heading into Friday night’s Spotlight Game of the Week against rival St. Joseph-Ogden. A win over the Spartans (3-0) would get the Rockets more than halfway to playoff eligibility, after missing out for the first time in 24 years last season.

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