Rams continue winning on the gridiron, this time over Kuemper Catholic

The Ram football team once again entertained fans with fast-paced offense and an even quicker defense as the team won its homecoming football game against the Kuemper Catholic Knights of Carroll Friday. The 45-22 victory came despite having two Colby Kafer touchdowns nullified by penalties and more 150 yards in penalties being levied against the Rams.

The Rams are now 6-0 on the season and have won nine consecutive regular season games. The last regular season loss was to the Kuemper Knights a year ago at the Knights’ homecoming. The last time the Rams had a 6-0 record was 2007; this year’s seniors were in kindergarten.

The Rams received the opening kickoff and started play on their own 20 yard line. On the first play from scrimmage Ram quarterback Brent Riley connected with Carter Morton on a 53-yard pass play and the Rams were at the Knights’ 27 yard line. On the next play, also a pass play to Morton, the Rams picked up another 12 yards, but the Knights’ 15 yard line was as close as they got. The Rams were at fourth down with 5 yards to go when the Knights’ Blaise Gunnerson, a Nebraska Cornhuskers recruit, sacked Riley on the Knights’ 23 yard line.

The Knights learned what they were up against in their first possession, as the Ram defense allowed the Knights to get only as far as their 25 yard line before they punted. Senior QB Cole Collison is also the Tigers’ punter. His first punt of the game sailed 56 yards to the Ram 19 yard line.

The Rams went on the scoreboard six plays later; those six plays included two penalties against the Knights for offsides, a penalty against the Rams for holding, and two incomplete Riley passes. At third and 8 on the Ram 33 yard line Riley connected with Will Hansen on a 50-yard pass play, all the way to the Knights’ 17 yard line. Another pass play, this time to Morton, gave the Rams their first TD. Cael Fisher’s point after touchdown kick was good and the Rams led 7-0 with six minutes to play in the first quarter.

The Knights’ next possession ended with a punt four plays later and the Rams had the ball on their own 44. The Rams gained only two yards in their next three plays and sophomore punter Nathan Black was sent out to punt. Black punted the ball 41 yards, but a personal foul called against the Rams gave the Knights the ball at the Knights’ 30 yard line. A penalty two plays later against the Knights for holding moved them back to their 19 yard line and that’s where the first quarter ended.

The Knights opened the second quarter with a punt and the Rams were on the Knights’ 35 yard line. A penalty for offsides moved them back to the 40 yard line. Colby Kafer carried for a short gain, Riley threw an incomplete pass, and on the next play he connected with Hansen for a 39-yard pass play for another TD. After Fisher’s PAT the score was 14-0 one minute into the quarter.

The visitors had some razzle dazzle in their next possession. They started on their own 32 yard line, and were on their 37 at third and 4 when Collison connected with Kyle Berg on a 58-yard pass play. That took them to first and goal on the Ram 4 yard line. Collison threw an incomplete pass and then ran the ball over the goal line himself for a touchdown. It was the first TD the Ram defense had allowed since the second week of the season against Nevada. Carter Morton blocked the PAT kick and the score was 14-6 with 9:10 to play in the half.

It took the Rams six plays and less than two minutes to score again, this time on a pass to Carter Morton from the Knights’ 38 yard line. With the PAT the score was 21-6.

The Rams scored once more in the second quarter in a drive that required two trips into the end zone to put up points. The Rams started their last possession of the half after a 50-yard Collison punt gave them the ball on their one 1 yard line. Seven plays later, including a 35-yard Riley-to-Morton pass play, the Rams were at first and goal with 1:14 to play when Kafer crashed the goal line. His TD was called back when the Rams were whistled for illegal procedure. The ball was moved back to the Knights’ 15 yard line. That’s where the ball was when Riley threw to Nick Breon in the end zone for the TD. After Fisher’s successful PAT the Rams held a 28-6 lead at the intermission.

The Knights started the second half with the ball and lost it on downs at their own 41 yard line. A 30-yard punt gave the Rams the ball on their own 31. They scored a field goal nine plays, with the drive again including a nullified 14-yard TD run by Kafer on a personal foul call against the Rams on a third and 9 play. The penalty placed the Rams at third and 15 on the 20. Riley passed short to Jaxon Warnke and coach Caden Duncan called for a field goal at fourth and 8 with the ball on the 13 yard line. Fisher kicked a 30-yard field goal to expand the Rams’ margin to 31-6 with 5:41 to play in the third quarter.

The Rams scored the next TD on a five-play, 27-yard drive that started on the Knights’ 27 yard line after a punt that went only 14 yards. Kafer contributed 14 yards on the drive and took the ball into the end zone. This time there was no flag on the play. With Fisher’s PAT the score was 38-6 with 9:08 left in the game.

The Knights added eight points to the scoreboard with 4:30 to play. The drive started when the Knights recovered a Ram fumble on the Ram 48 yard line. Collison’s first pass of the possession was incomplete, but at second and 10 he connected with Ross Knobbe on a 44-yard pass. Collision threw incomplete on first and goal at the 3 yard line, and then carried the ball across the goal line himself. The Knights made a 2-point conversion to shorten the Rams lead to 38-14.

The Knights scored again in one play on their next possession. Ram Nathan Black punted with the Rams at fourth and 13 on their own 47 yard line. With the Knights on their 19 yard line. Collison connected with Berg on an 81-yard pass play. After another 2-point conversion, the score was 38-20 with 2:27 to play in the game.

The Rams put up one last touchdown on a 51-yard, five play drive. Kafer hauled the ball the first 21 yards and a pass to Morton finished the distance to the end zone for a TD. Fisher made another PAT, making six of six for the night, and the final score was 45-22.

The Rams recorded 388 yards of offense through the air and 190 yards rushing for 578 total yards of offense. Riley completed 19 of 30 passes for 63.3 percent. Carter Morton tallied 201 yards receiving in eight catches. Will Hansen had 89 yards receiving on two catches.

Kafer led in rushing with 161 yards and Breon added 37. Riley was tagged for -8 yards rushing.

Hansen led the team in tackles with six solo tackles and six assists.

The Knights had not yet posted statistics to Quik Stats as of Monday night. Unofficially, they had 313 total yards of offense, with 283 yards passing and 30 yards rushing. Collison connected on 12 of 33 passes for 36 percent.

The Knights are 1-5 on the season and 0-2 in 2A District 9 play, while the Rams are 6-0 and 2-0. The Rams travel to Atlantic to play the Trojans Oct. 11. The Trojans are 2-4 on the season and 1-1 in district play.

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