Rams lose in OT to Perry, 17-14

The outcome wasn’t what Ram fans wanted, but the last two minutes of the football game against the Perry Blue Jays in Perry Friday evening will be remembered for a long time. After trailing the entire game, the Rams tied the score in the last second of play. They lost in overtime 17-14.

The Blue Jays took the lead early, scoring in the first 1:47 of the game. They received the kick off and started on their own 21 yard line. It took them just five plays to score, with the last two plays being a 27-yard pass followed by a 41-yard pass play. The kick for the point after touchdown by German Alvaranga was good and with 10:13 to play in the first quarter the Blue Jays had a 7-0 lead.

Xavier Hayes returned the kick off 45 yards to give his teammates the ball on Perry’s 42 yard line. Four plays later the Rams were out on downs and they had moved the ball only four yards. The Blue Jays made it to the Ram 10 yard line but Wade Adcock picked up a fumble to reclaim the ball for the Rams on their own 21 yard line. The Rams accomplished two first downs on their next drive, but after quarterback Clint Dennhardt was sacked the Rams punted from their own 32 yard line.

The Blue Jays fumbled two plays later and Joe Towers recovered the fumble. At second and goal on the Perry 6 yard line Dennhardt had to scramble to pick up a bad snap and was sacked on the 25 yard line. The Rams attempted to make the first down at fourth and 25 but an incomplete pass ended the possession.

Neither team scored during the second quarter, despite a Perry drive that started on their 13 yard line and included 45 yards of penalties against the Rams. The Blue Jays got as close as the Ram 17, but quarterback Alexis Garrido was sacked on a first and 10 play. On the next play Garrido’s pass was deflected off a Blue Jay and Austin Delp grabbed it and ran 19 yards. The Rams had the ball on their own 43 yard line and made it to the Perry 39 yard line but went out on downs.

For the first half the Rams had only 82 yards of offense, accounting for a negative nine yards rushing. Perry had 171 yards of offense.

The Rams started the second half receiving the kick off and ended up punting. Perry had the ball on their 23 yard line. At second and eight Conner Kenyon trotted 75 yards to score. The touchdown was nullified by a holding penalty against the Blue Jays. With the penalty, they were at second and 20 on their 13 yard line. Reece Dunlap may have thought that if Kenyon could do it, so could he. Dunlap ran 87 yards to score a TD. There was a flag on that play, too, but the penalty was against the Rams so the touchdown held up. The PAT was good and the score was 14-0 with 9:26 to play in the third quarter.

A highlight of the third quarter for the Rams was a Hayes interception of a long pass down to the Rams’ 29 yard line. The Rams picked up four yards but Dennhardt was sacked and the Rams punted on fourth and 11 on their own 28 yard line.

The Rams finally got on the score board with 5 minutes left to play in the game. The Rams started a drive on their own 55 yard line. They scored a TD six plays later with a 39-yard Dennhardt pass to Lance Hughes on the goal line. Leo Marques’ PAT was good and the score was 14-7.

The Ram defense held the Blue Jays on downs on their next possession, but after the punt the Rams were at their own 11 yard line with about 2:30 to play.

That set up a lllapalooza finish for the Rams. After a drought of complete passes, Dennhardt hit Jordan Patterson, Trey Hinote, Carter Morton and Hughes on passes and after 12 plays the Rams were at second and goal on the 1 yard line with 12 seconds to play. The Rams struggled with the snap throughout the game, and on what fans thought was the last play of the game, the snap was bad and Perry seemed to win.

However, the officials had the timekeeper put one second on the clock and the Rams had one more chance to score. Dennhardt passed to Morton in the back of the end zone for a touchdown, making the score 14-13. The Rams were penalized for a personal foul after the TD, and a 15-yard penalty was assessed against them on the PAT. Marques, an exchange student from Brazil, kicked a 35-yard PAT to tie the game at 14.

In Iowa high school overtime play, each team has one possession starting 10 yards from the goal line. The Rams had the ball first. They were unable to score. The Blue Jays made a field goal to win the game 17-14.

The Rams totaled 275 yards of offense, with 225 through the air and 50 yards rushing. The Blue Jays tallied 361 yards of offense, with 153 yards passing and 208 yards rushing.

The game against Perry is a long-time rivalry with a large cowbell as the trophy. The Rams have had the cowbell the past three years, but it will be in Perry until next October.

The Blue Jays are now 3-5 overall and 2-4 in the district. The Rams are 1-7 overall and 1-5 in the district. The Rams will finish the season next week with a home game against Ballard.

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