The middle of the field parted like the Red Sea and Ethan Moore saw his opportunity to put the game away.
The senior quarterback took Rouse head coach Josh Mann's halftime message to stop hesitating and just run for it to heart and rushed for two second-half touchdowns - including a 55-yard sprint up the middle - to help the Raiders beat Weiss 41-13 on Thursday night.
"I just started running as fast as I could," Moore said.
Moore finished with a team-high 94 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries and also completed three passes for 30 yards.
The dual-threat backfield of junior Mylan Mitchell and senior Tavian Tate helped carry the load as Mitchell finished with 92 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries and Tate had 83 yards a score with 11 carries.
"Those two are so good," Mann said of Mitchell and Tate. "Everybody is keying on them and pressing them and Ethan's got to pick up those yards. The kid can fly. He's pretty fast when he gets going."
Defensively, the Raiders held the Wolves to just over 100 yards of total offense, most of which came on a 50-yard touchdown in the first half. Rouse recovered one fumble and picked off three passes.
Junior defensive back Ugonnamdi Osemene had two interceptions, bringing his total to three in the young season.
But the Weiss offensive line gave Rouse trouble all night, forcing Moore to get rid of the ball out of bounds and racking up at least two sacks and one fumble recovery that ended in a Wolves touchdown.
"You look at the history of Pflugerville schools and they're going to have to big, athletic defensive linemen and they've got there or four of them (at Weiss)," Mann said. "They pinned their ears back and came off the ball really well."
Tate started thing with a 67-yard sprint up the sideline on the first play from scrimmage and finished the drive with a 1-yard plunge a couple snaps later. Rouse doubled its lead with a short touchdown run by Mitchell on the next drive.
Weiss got on the board when Marcus Lyons stripped the ball from Moore and returned it about 30 yards for a score.
Braden Skinner nailed a 21-yard field goal with eight minutes left in the half and Mitchell found the end zone for the second time in the game with a spinning, 8-yard touchdown less than two minutes later.
Weiss quarterback Jackson Sandlin threw a fade to the left sideline late in the second quarter and Curtis Meeks caught it and took it 50 yards for the score.
Moore scored his two touchdowns on runs of 15 and 55 yards on the first two Rouse drives of the second half. The Raiders settled for a 30-yard field goal by Skinner after snuffing out a botched Weiss punt late in the third quarter.
Rouse wraps up non-district play next Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Bible Stadium when it plays host to A&M Consolidated. The Raiders open up District 11-5A-D1 play at Gupton Stadium against Cedar Park on Sept. 28 and travel to face Pflugerville on Oct. 5.
When Weiss was finished going through the handshake line, Mann pulled a few of the players to the side to give them a little chat of his. The Wolves are now 0-3 in their first UIL season and Mann knows what it's like to start a program.
He's been the head coach at Rouse since the school opened and won two total games during the first two UIL seasons with the Raiders, but made it to the state semifinals in his fourth years at the helm.
"I've known their coach for a while and he's doing a tremendous job," Mann said. "There's a fraternity when you open a school it's unlike anything in this profession. It's so hard. But those kids didn't give up. They're going to be great to watch."