Oak Creek The Soroco Rams football team came out strong in a see-saw first quarter but couldn't overcome mistakes to find their first win of the year against the Eagle Valley Devils junior varsity squad.
The Rams scored first after stopping the Devils on their first possession in three plays and forcing a punt.
Soroco senior punter Brandon Himmerite fielded the punt on his own 33-yard line and ran 67 yards for a touchdown.
He then took a pitch from freshman quarterback Jack Means and ran to the right corner for the two-point conversion.
At the 10-minute, 3-second mark, the Rams were up 8-0 for the first time all year.
But the Devils were quick to respond. On the very next possession, J.J. Alvis ran a 66-yard counter for an Eagle Valley touchdown. However, the team was unable to get the two-point conversion, and the Rams still led 8-6.
Then the Devils forced a Ram punt and scored in their next possession. It came after converting a long pass to put them on the 10-yard line. Craig Jagger took a right sweep on the next play into end zone. With a successful two-point conversion, the Devils were up 14-8 with 4:28 left in the first quarter.
The Rams weren't ready to lie down early in the game. Starting on their own 31-yard line the very next possession, Brandon Gilleland took an inside handoff all the way to the end zone. After a missed two-point conversion attempt, the Rams tied the game at 14-14 at 4:09 in the first quarter.
Scoring then continued in the quarter with the Devils' next possession. After a 20-yard run by Jagger, and a 15-yard dead-ball penalty tacked on at the end, quarterback Mike Poeckes found Tommy Toppes running a post with the nearest Rams defender 5 yards behind. Toppes crossed the goal line and put the devils up 20-14 for their first lead of the game.
Then the first of the Rams' four fumbles that Devils picked up in the half struck the team. The Rams couldn't get anything going on offense and were faced with a fourth-and-two early in the second quarter.
Coach Steve Longwell called a fake punt, but Himmerite couldn't turn the corner on the run and was blindsided by a rash of Devils forcing a fumble.
Eagle Valley had the ball on Soroco's 27-yard line. Two plays later, Jagger took a handoff on an inside reverse play into the end zone. After a failed two-point conversion attempt, the Devils went up 26-14.
The Rams then gave away three more touchdowns in the half after three Devil fumble recoveries. By halftime, it was 46-14, and the game was basically over.
The home team came out strong in the third quarter, though, not giving up any points, but the Rams couldn't find the end zone either.
Himmerite did get some points for his team with 7:17 left in the fourth quarter on a nice sweep play, but it was too little, too late.
When the gun fired at the end of the game, the score was 54-22.
"The second half we came out and played real good ball," Himmerite said.
However, he added that it wasn't good enough.
"Turnovers just killed us," Longwell said.
That loss gives the Rams a 0-7 record and marks the team's last home game of the year.
To reach Doug Crowl call 871-4206 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org