It's been a while since Rouse won a game at Gupton Stadium.
Not for lack of talent, but the Raiders have called Bible Stadium home for long enough that the school district replaced the flags that fly at one end of the field. One member of the field staff kept the original Maroon and Gold flag to give back to head coach Josh Mann when Rouse returned to Gupton and won.
They got it back Friday night.
The potent Rouse ground game combined to rush for more than 350 yards and four touchdowns as the Raiders earned their first District 11-5A Division I win by beating Connally 29-14 on Friday night.
"Going into halftime they just told me to be physical," senior ruling back Tavian Tate said. "We've been consistently moving the ball, we just haven't been able to finish the drive. In the second half, that's exactly what we did. We've just got to stay confident."
Senior quarterback Ethan Moore led the group with 168 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns while also throwing for 116 yards. Tate had 114 yards and two touchdowns and junior Mylan Mitchell had 85 yards on the ground for the Raiders.
"We got healthy in this game and that brought the energy level up," Mann said. "If the offensive line gels, the offense can get going."
Rouse welcomed back a few key players following its bye week, including a healthy offensive line, the return of defensive lineman Derek Galloway, who played for the first time this year, linebacker Lane Bresnehen and defensive back Isaiah Cash, who made an interception.
The Raiders held the Cougars to under 100 yards on the ground, and one of the touchdowns they gave up came on the heels of mistakes in the first half.
"Defensively, we were where we needed to be all night," Mann said. "We haven't won since week two or three and we had the bye week. So I think some of it was just rust coming off."
Connally scored on its first drive of the game, but Tate evened things up with a 5-yard run on the third play of the second quarter.
Rouse turned the ball over deep in the red zone late in the first half, and Connally needed just one play, an 89-yard pass from Darius McGraw to Diamante Francios.
But Moore sprinted for a 63-yard touchdown on the first play oft he ensuing drive and continued his string rushing performance with another score in the third quarter. Tate rushed for his second touchdowns late in the second quarter and Braden Skinner hit a 29-yard field goal in the fourth.
Rouse has two games left in the regular season, a trip to face off with Georgetown next Friday night at Birkelbach Field and a home game against district-leading Hutto in the regular season finale.
"Attention to detail and effort and intensity," Mann said. "In defensive football, you can make mistakes and make up for them with effort. That Manor game (on Oct. 12) was probably our worst performance we've ever had on defense. We challenged them this last week and I'm proud of how they responded."