Rockwall runs to wild victory over Rowlett in game with 9 lead changes

Rockwall's Chris Warren rushes for sixth TD with 3:48 left, good for the last of nine lead changes

ROCKWALL — Rockwall sophomore running back Chris Warren rushed for six touchdowns Friday night in a 41-37 victory over Rowlett at Wilkerson-Sanders Stadium.

Warren, the son of former Seattle and Cowboys running back Chris Warren, scored the game-winning touchdown on a 3-yard run with 3:48 remaining to cap a back-and-forth thriller with nine lead changes.

The game capped an emotional week for Rowlett after 16-year-old junior varsity player Austin Gaffney drowned over Labor Day weekend. The teams held a moment of silence before kickoff just as the junior varsity teams did Thursday, when Rowlett players wore decals with his initials on their helmets.

A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at the Rowlett First Baptist Church.

“We have a lot of respect for their program and Coach [Kiff] Harden,” Rockwall coach Scott Smith said. “It was a tough week for them. They’ve missed a day of practice and had to deal with a lot of emotions.”

Warren totaled 246 yards on 27 carries. He split time as a defensive end/linebacker and a running back with four carries in Rockwall’s season-opening loss to West Mesquite. Making his first start at running back, the powerful, 6-2, 220-pounder had scoring runs of 70, 46 and 20 yards to go along with 7-yard score and a pair of 3-yard touchdowns.

Rowlett took a 37-34 lead with 9:07 left on a 29-yard touchdown run by senior running back Derrick Imade and a 2-point conversion pass to tight end Corey Manges.

Rowlett stopped Rockwall on a fourth down on its game-winning drive, but a personal foul penalty on a hit by the sidelines gave Rockwall a first down on the Rowlett 10. Warren scored his 3-yarder two plays later.

Rockwall (1-1) was able to hold Rowlett (1-1) at midfield on its final possession.

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