By KEVIN THOMPSON
ULYSSES — On paper, this third-round Class 4A quarterfinal game was about as equal as you could get.
Both teams were 10-1. Both teams were averaging 42 points a game while allowing just 10.
And both have been on a playoff run this past decade. Ulysses has been in nine straight; Rose Hill in eight of the past nine.
That's on paper. The game, however, is played on the field. And on Friday night, the Rockets' power struck fast and hard, scoring eight times on their first nine possessions to defeat Ulysses, 56-14.
Rose Hill has now won 10 straight games with a chance for another as it advances to the semifinals.
The last time these two teams had met was in 2004, when Rose Hill beat Ulysses 27-22 in the semifinals.
This time was different, though. Four different Rose Hill players scored in that first half, and the Rockets racked up 259 total yard (210 on the ground) to dominate those two quarters.
Quarterback Derrick Decker led that attack with 116 yards on 16 carries and also connected with Caleb Braddy for a first-quarter score.
Decker, Hunter Lewis and Jonny Pearson accounted for the other three ground scores.
Ulysses' Armando Sandoval took the second play on the Tigers' fourth possession 53 yards up the middle for Ulysses' first score, and Braden Langston hit Tate Annis for an 18-yard strike.
That second drive consumed four minutes on 10 plays, ending with Annis bouncing off a tackler for the score.
But the Rockets had too much size and too much power on the Tigers.
Rose Hill ran for 228 yards and three more scores in the third quarter alone to go up, 49-14.
Lewis scored on the first drive of the second half while Pearson and Decker each added another touchdown in the third.
Decker's score was a 62-yard run on the first play of a drive. He ended the game with 255 yards on 23 carries.
Pearson ended the scoring for Rose Hill with a one-yard plunge in the fourth, his third score of the game.
The Rockets' defense held Ulysses to minus-four yards in the third quarter and just 15 total in the second half.
It was the Rockets dominating on both sides of the ball in the win. They amassed 522 yards and held the Tiger to just 185.
Rose Hill coach Greg Slade had nothing but praise for both his offense and defense in such a dominating win.
"We came out tough, but had a few penalties in the second quarter," Slade said. "But then they came out and played tough that second half. They had a great game."
The 483 yards on the ground, he said, is typical of his offense.
"But our defense has kept us in games all year and taken care of things," Slade said.
For the Tigers, who finish the season at 10-2, it means the end of season that saw them lose only to top-ranked Scott City in 3A before Friday's defeat.
"We got beat by a better team tonight," said Ulysses coach Jason Kenny.
His team had chances early on but the Rockets' defense shut them down, he said.
The loss is tougher given the number of seniors on his 2011 squad, Kenny said.
"They've been great leaders, they work hard every day, and they prepare well," he said. "I hated to see it come to an end."
Rose Hill (11-1) now faces Topeka Hayden next week in the 3A semifinals.
Rose Hill 14 14 21 7 -- 56
Ulysses 0 14 0 0 -- 14
RH--Pearson 3 run (Knight kick), 9:07
RH--Braddy 5 pass from Decker (Knight kick), 2:22
RH--Lewis 7 run (Knight kick), 10:30
U--Sandoval 53 run (Mendez kick), 9:57
U--Annis 18 pass from Langston (Mendez kick), 3:26
RH--Decker 5 run (Knight kick), :55
RH--Lewis 6 run (Knight kick), 8:10
RH--Pearson 13 run (Knight kick), 5:38
RH--Decker 62 run (Knight kick), 3:38
RH--Pearson 1 run (Knight kick), 10:12
Rush-yds 56-483 28-121
Pass-yds 3-6-39 7-15-64
Total yds 522 185
First downs 21 9
Penalties-yds 12-85 6-45