Rams rise over Cougars
Evan Standish, #35, and Dawson Gouda, #21, of the Lacombe Rams haul down their Notre Dame Cougars opponent during high school football league action Friday night at MEGlobal Athletic Park. The Rams defeated the Cougars 39-28. (Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe)
The Lacombe Rams improved to 3-1 on the season as they took down the Notre Dame Cougars in high school football league action Friday night.
It was a back-and-forth affair for both teams for much of the game, tied 22-22 at the half mark, but the Rams managed to pull away in the second half to earn a 39-28 victory at MEGlobal Athletic Field.
“We had some breakdowns, but that happens in high school football. In the first half, on kickoffs and on special teams and punts we were giving up big returns. They weren’t big enough for scores but they were big, 30-yard returns. We talked about it at the half and fixed that up,” said Rams Head Coach Jason Petrie.
“We got the ground game going in the third quarter, ran well behind our o-line and they fired off and adjusted,” he said. “Our O-line played very well.”
At the centre of the team’s offence, naturally, was quarterback Johnny Ericson. Early in the third quarter, he found Matt Darnell in the end zone to gain a 30-22 lead, followed by a field goal which further increased the gap to 33-22.
His other touchdown passes included another to Darrnell, and one to both Tristyn Foley and Richard Jans.
“Tonight was his best game all year,” said Petrie. “As good as their offensive tackles were, he had time today.”
In games previous, Ericson’s ability to find receivers was hampered by opponents’ offence closing in quickly, at times forcing him to give up yards rather than help his team gain them. That changed thanks to some off-the-field work.
“He sharpened the saw this week,” Petrie said. “We had a couple good meetings. He, Coach (Brian) Ross and myself sat down and put stuff on the table and figured it out.”
The game was punctuated by a rushing touchdown by Zach Schwab.
Petrie had no complaints about the win, but gave the young Cougars squad – now winless in four games – credit for their efforts.
“They put up 28 against us; That was really unexpected,” he said. “I thought our defence was going to be a little more stout this weekend.
“Hats off to them. They played well – they’re very well coached and getting better every week.”
The Rams now have another bye week in the schedule. Their next test will come Thursday, Oct. 12 as they host the Hunting Hills High School Lightning – the only opponent to hand them a loss this season. Kick-off is at 7:30 p.m. at MEGlobal Athletic Park.