Rams Dynamic Duo Dominates Defense

R: Easop Winston WR (16) (Photo by Khaled Sayed)
Easop Winston WR (16) (Photo by Khaled Sayed/The Guardsman)

By Patrick Cochran/Staff Writer

The Rams feature a talented roster with standouts at nearly every position. Defensive players Rod Jones and Nick Pierotti have stepped up for the Rams this season and the team has a deep offensive line in front of dynamic running back Elijah Dale and quarterback Anthony Gordon, who gets better every week.

But the Rams’ best and most consistent players, week after week, are the wide receivers. San Francisco natives Easop Winston and Antoine Porter have put on a clinic this season, decimating opposing secondaries.

Porter and Winston, along with quarterback Gordon, form a freshman passing trio that put up big numbers nearly every game.

L: Antoine Porter WR (17) (Photo by Khaled Sayed)
Antoine Porter WR (17) (Photo by Khaled Sayed/The Guardsman)

The two receivers have a tight bond on and off the field. They played high school football at the same time, Winston at Serra and Porter at Mission, but the two never knew each other until they met at City College. Last season both players sat out, Winston grayshirting and Porter redshirting.

“Antoine Porter – that is my boy,” Winston said. “From the moment we met, we just clicked. We’re both from San Francisco and we both became close on and off the field. We both know we have the ability.”

Winston is slightly taller at 6 feet compared to Porter at 5 feet 9 inches. He is more explosive, able to streak past a corner to catch a deep pass. Blessed with a good pair of hands, Winston is able to make spectacular catches.

“Easop is just a great player in space and is able to get on top of defenses for the big play,” Gordon said.

Porter runs precise passing routes and does some of his best work after the reception, routinely picking up yards after catch with the ability to turn a short pass into a long gain.

“Antoine is one of the smartest wide receivers I have ever played with,” Gordon said. He always knows what route to run and I always know where he will be.”

Both players complement each other’s playing styles.

“We have a good dynamic duo where you don’t know which one of us is going to hit you,” Porter said. “During practice we go over routes and different situations and study film together, so when we are on the field it just comes easy to us.”

Winston has been dominant since week one when he caught 12 passes for 173 yards and scored two touchdowns late in the game, which gave the Rams a 25-24 victory over Sierra College.

In six games this season, Winston already has 725 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. In the most recent game Winston had five receptions for 91 yards and two touchdowns on receptions of 35 and 39 yards. His stats could have been better but Winston and the rest of the starters played less than one half as the Rams cruised to a 61-7 victory over Foothill College.

Porter started the season at a slower pace but has been playing at a high level since the Rams’ only loss to American River College.

In the Rams’ 41-27 win over Modesto on Oct. 3, Porter had a monumental game catching 14 balls for 249 yards and a touchdown. So far this season Porter has 463 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

Porter and Winston have made Gordon’s transition to becoming a college quarterback much easier.

“Growing up, I threw to my close friends – my whole life since I grew up in a small town,” Gordon said. “Coming up here was a little different getting to know guys I never knew before, but right from the start me Easop and ‘Toine hit it off right away – and it shows. We all have great chemistry together.”

Head coach Jimmy Collins is impressed with his freshmen standouts progression.

“It is exciting to see them because both are freshman and now have six games under their belt. Every game they are getting better,” Collins said. “I can’t even imagine where they will be come week eight, nine or 10.”

Come week 10, the Rams should expect a playoff berth if Porter and Winston keep getting better every week.

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