American River College eeks out 13-0 win
By Patrick Cochran
It was a dark night for the Rams in Sacramento, the dream of a perfect season ruined with a stunning 13-0 loss to American River College.
Starting the season 3-0, the Rams headed into the game on a winning streak with two goals in mind, winning another championship and having an undefeated season.
Now one of those goals is unattainable and the other will require perfection throughout the rest of the season to be in the position to play for another California state championship.
The Rams first three victories of this season were won by relying heavily on their running game.
Running back Jahray Hayes and his backups including Elijah Dale, ran for 134 yards and four touchdowns in the Rams 52-14 opening win to start the season over Sierra. Up to this point the Rams have been dominating opposing teams defenses.
Another major factor for the Ram’s loss was the offensive lines inability to open up holes for the running backs. The unit was unable to explode off the line as a cohesive unit to push back the defense, a key to their success during the first three games.
“My blocking was iffy,” said offensive tackle Dominic DeSouza. “We usually run more, but we weren’t having much success, and then we got down so we had to pass block more, which we actually did alright, but our run blocking was not our best.”
Jahray Hayes only gained 48 yards on 16 carries. All night long American River was able to stuff the Rams. The Rams longest plays of the night were a 15-yard run by running back DeShundrius Tribble and a 25-yard catch by Jamel Ross.
The Beaver’s defense was led by defensive tackle Jordan Carrell. Carrell had seven tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss and one sack. Carrell and his teammates on the Beaver’s front seven were able to win the battle in the trenches, causing fits for quarterback Anthony Rodriquez all night.
With the Ram’s rushing attack being neutralized, the offensive load was forced on Rodriguez’s shoulders, who threw the ball 37 times. Rodriguez struggled all game, throwing for only 113 yards for 12 completions, and one turnover. Unable to get in a rhythm with his receivers, The Rams ended up having a lethargic performance on offense.
“We got complacent this week in practice,” wide receiver Jermaine Berry said. “A lot of things got in the way of us focusing on the game.”
The Beaver’s quarterback Tanner Toslin had an above average performance, throwing for 166 yards and one touchdown. Toslin played an instrumental role in the only touchdown of the first half. At the beginning of the second quarter Toslin found wide receiver Jonathan Lopez open for a 17-yard touchdown.
The play that sealed the Rams fate was a game changing 71-yard run by Beaver’s running back Deon Ransom. Hitting the open field with an exceptional burst of speed, Ransom was able to light the afterburners racing all the way to the endzone.
“This loss has gotten everyone focused,” said Berry. “We can’t be undefeated now and we know we have to play every game like it is our last if we want to win the championship.”
The Rams next game is at home versus Modesto Junior College on Oct. 4 at 1 p.m.