Rams tough enough
CARBONDALE – Having just enough turned out to be enough for Roaring Fork on Friday.The Rams’ athletic ability, along with their penchant for being in the right place in key moments, was too much for Olathe to contend with in Roaring Fork’s 32-7 win over the Pirates.While the numbers looked good on the scoreboard, as a whole the Rams felt they could – and need to – play better.”A W is a W and our performance was good tonight,” Christian Tena said of the team’s effort. “But I don’t think it’s where it should be.”
Tena led the way. He had a hand in both of Roaring Fork’s first two touchdowns that gave the Rams a 13-0 lead, then continued to make key plays the entire night.Tena’s ability to make something out of a bad situation put Roaring Fork on the board when they possibly could have come away empty.After driving down to the Olathe 6 in their first series of the game, the drive stalled. Trying to salvage something, Tena lined up for a 21-yard field goal attempt.It was an attempt that never developed. Instead, Tena was on the receiving end of a flip from his holder after a high snap, and Tena was suddenly forced to improvise.”At first I didn’t know what to do,” Tena explained. “Our holder’s a pretty bright guy. He reacted fast enough to give me the ball, then I saw (Cody Jeffryes) in the end zone. I had no other choice, I had to do something.”
Tena’s “something” resulted in a touchdown and a lead that Roaring Fork never would relinquish or be threatened with losing.The Rams senior made sure there were no worries when he raised Roaring Fork’s lead to 13-0 on an eight-yard TD run in the second quarter – the final play of a six-play, 54-yard scoring drive.Kade Gianinetti and Jake Bowman added to Roaring Fork’s advantage on scoring runs of six and 41 yards before halftime for a 25-0 lead at intermission.Even though the game had the feel of a blowout, in the Rams’ case, something didn’t feel right. After holding Olathe to minus yardage in the first half, Roaring Fork didn’t apply the death blow to the Pirates when the second half started.
Olathe didn’t look like a team which was playing without its best athlete, who was suspended for a game for breaking a team rule. Instead, the Pirates, sparked by the throw-and-catch combination of quarterback Billy Harrison and back Sean Harrison, broke the Rams’ defense for gains of 28 and 14 yards, which set up their lone touchdown – a 16-yard run by Oscar Madris – with 6:43 left in the third quarter.Jake Bowman, who ran for 125 yards in 11 carries in the first half, settled matters after intercepting a Harrison pass at the Ram 36, then returning it to the end zone in the fourth quarter.While pleased to escape with the win, Rams coach Matt Hauptly desires more from his team.”We had guys in broken play situations that were very productive for us, and we had the athletes to win tonight,” said Rams coach Matt Hauptly. “But the execution needs a lot work.”
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The Coal Ridge High boys suffered their first 3A Western Slope League loss of the year Thursday night on the road at Gunnison, falling to the defending league champion Cowboys 65-45.