Castle Rock showed off its playoff form here last Friday, drubbing Columbia High, 56-13, on the last night of the 2006 regular season.
The Rockets (5-1 in the Trico Division, 8-1 overall) scored on their first five possessions and led 35-0 before the Bruins (1-5, 2-7) countered with a 66-yard touchdown run by Rees Stevenson with 5:11 remaining in the first half.
"It was a physical mismatch," Bruins Coach Matt Whitmire said. "That's not an insult to our kids; they played hard, the effort was there. But their kids are just bigger and stronger than ours."
Castle Rock proved it with a dominant performance on the line of scrimmage that freed standout running back Lucas Myers to rush for 214 yards and five touchdowns.
Myers' second touchdown run--which covered 74 yards--was a marvel in that he broke numerous tackles on his way to the end zone after it appeared he'd been stopped for a short gain.
He absorbed the hit, spun away, put his hand on the ground to regain his balance and took off running as though nothing had happened.
"What can you say about a play like that except `Wow'," Whitmire said.
Led by Myers, the Rockets ran through the Bruins for 356 yards and seven scores. They also passed for 123 yards and a touchdown on a night they punted twice and didn't turn the ball over.
"They're really on top of their game right now," Whitmire said. "They have great balance on offense, and their defense isn't too shabby either."
Castle Rock held Columbia to 234 yards, forced six punts, recovered one fumble (which set up the Rockets' fifth scoring drive) and intercepted a pass.
Nor did it help that the Bruins started the game badly. On the opening drive, they lost 12 yards on three running plays before kicking it away.
That initial defensive stand was all the Rock needed to get rolling.
After returning Taylor Champion's punt to CHS's 44-yard line, the Rockets needed just five plays (three runs, two passes) to reach the end zone.
Columbia held onto the ball for six plays on its second possession but another good punt return set Castle Rock up at the Bruins' 30.
Two pass plays and a point-after kick later, the Rockets led 15-0 with 5:01 still to play in the first quarter.
The game turned into a rout in the second quarter as Castle Rock scored on drives of 84, 74 and 56 yards to mount a 35-0 lead.
Too little, too late, Columbia began to show signs of life in the final 5:33 of the first half.
After Devin Dean returned Castle Rock's kickoff 20 yards to CHS's 34, Stevenson snuck through a hole in the defense on first down and took it the distance for his first touchdown of the season. Enrique Granados added the PAT to make it 35-7.
On the ensuing series, the Bruins' defense made its first stand of the night and forced the Rockets to punt.
The Bruins second scoring drive--lasting three plays and covering 58 yards--came in the latter third of the fourth quarter. Dean capped it off with a 20-yard touchdown run.
Next up: The Bruins will meet the Toledo Indians this Friday night at Camas' Doc Harris Stadium in a SWW 1A League crossover game that will kick off at 8. The CHS-Toledo tilt will be preceded by a game between Stevenson and Winlock that will begin at 5:30.