Rams lead after three quarters but lose 37-31 in Gilbert

The Rams lost to the Gilbert Tigers 37-31 in a soggy game in Gilbert Friday night. The game was moved up to 5 pm because of the weather forecast, but even then, the last two minutes of the game were delayed for nearly an hour by lightning and heavy rain. The Rams held the lead after the first quarter of play after three quarters of play before the Tigers claimed the “W” with a big fourth quarter.

Like the week before against Boone, penalties against the Rams were plentiful. The Rams had the first possession of the game but lost the ball on a fumble, and Gilbert had the ball on the Rams’ 35 yard line. They made it to the 17 yard line and on fourth and four they set up for a field goal. The Rams were flagged for being offside, giving the Tigers a first down, and they scored on the next play The Rams were flagged again for being offside on the PAT, prompting the Tigers to go for a two-point conversion. They succeeded and the Tigers were ahead 8-0 with 6:15 to play in the first quarter.

The Rams narrowed the margin 2-1/2 minutes later when Clint Dennhardt’s 56-yard pass to Lance Hughes was good for a touchdown. The PAT wasn’t good and the score was 8-6. The Tigers scored again with 1:49 to go in the first quarter, and with the PAT they led 15-6.

The kickoff return gave the Rams plenty to cheer about, as Carter Morton received the kickoff and handed it off to Xavier Hayes, who took off running. He made it 99 yards to the goal line and with Leo Marques’ PAT the Tigers’ lead was only 15-13.

The second quarter belonged to the Rams. The Tigers were within a yard of scoring a TD when Austin Delp recovered a fumble on the goal line. Greene County took 15 plays to move the ball 93 yards, with the final play being a 12-yard Dennhardt rush. The Rams attempted a two-point conversion but failed, but they led 19-15 with 4:45 to play in the half.

The Rams scored again with 1:23 to play in the half. The drive started with the Ram defense held the Tigers on downs on the Tiger 36 yard line. Three plays later Dennhardt ran the 10 yards to the goal line. The PAT failed and the Rams were up 25-15.

The Tigers threatened to reclaim the lead before the half ended, but Will Hansen intercepted a pass on the final play. It was the first halftime lead of the season for the Rams.

The Rams were still ahead 12 minutes of playing time later. The Tigers received the second half kickoff and used just fourplays and 1:47 of clock time to move the ball 64 yards for a TD. The PAT was good and the score was25-22.

Later in the quarter Joe Towers recovered a Tiger fumble on the Tigers’ 15 yard line. The Rams needed only four plays to score, aided by a 71-yard Colby Kafer run to the goal line. The score was 31-22 after an unsuccessful PAT.

The Rams couldn’t put together the fourth quarter they needed to win the game. The Tigers scored a TD with a PAT to shortened the margin to 31-29. With 2:15 to play in the game the Tigers scored another TD with a two-point conversion to take the lead at 37-31. Before the kickoff after the score, lightning took out the field lights, beginning a 54 minute delay in the game.

When weather and lights allowed the game to continue, the Rams received the kickoff at their own 43 yard line. They made it to the Tigers’ 45 yard line before they lost the ball on downs. The Tigers ran out the clock to win the game.

Unofficially Gilbert had 457 yards of offense, 274 rushing and 183 in the air. The Rams had 392 yards of offense, with 306 rushing and 86 yards in the air. The Rams were one for eight passing in the second half for a -2 yards. Kafer rushed for 167 yards on 22 carries.
The Rams are now 1-6 on the season and 1-4 in Class 3A District 2. The Tigers are 2-5 overall and 2-3 in the district.

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