Friday, September 20, 2002
Oak Creek Gary Heide would like another crack at Meeker.
All week the Soroco coach said he stressed to his team how important it was to come out fast and hard.
The Rams did.
They moved the ball, picking up a first down on the first series before punting it away. Then the Rams' defense held the Cowboys' potent offense in check, forcing them to punt.
Then it got ugly for the Rams.
The first and second quarter seemed to last forever as Meeker tacked on 43 unanswered points. The problem for Soroco was that it had a lot to do with the Cowboys' offensive success.
Four first-half turnovers three fumbles and one interception turned into 29 points for Meeker as the Cowboys went on to defeat the Rams 50-7 Friday night in Oak Creek.
But Heide said the Rams, 1-3 overall and 0-2 in league play, wouldn't be afraid to play the Cowboys, 3-1, 1-1, again. Take away the turnovers and tack on senior Dustin Neelis' 42-yard punt return negated by a Soroco penalty in the first quarter, and Heide said his team had a chance at least for a while.
In the end, however, the strength, size and speed of the Cowboys proved more than even the spirited and scrappy Rams could withstand.
"We just got beat off the ball, out-muscled," Heide said. "Bottom line."
Sitting in the locker room at halftime, it was hard for the Soroco football team not to wonder what might have been had it taken care of the ball, but the Rams decided to use the second half to gain momentum for next week's game against Plateau Valley.
Soroco settled down in the second half, and though it may have been against the Cowboys' second-string offense and defense, the Rams held their own, playing Meeker to a 7-7 tie in the final 24 minutes.
The Rams' lone score came with 6:36 to go in the fourth quarter when junior quarterback Kory Babcock found Neelis on a simple out-and-down route. Neelis sprinted toward the sidelines and down the field, beating two Meeker defensive backs into the end zone for a 67-yard pass reception.
"That's all I wanted in the second half," Babcock said on getting the score. "In the first half, we didn't really execute. In the second half, we started to relax."
Problem was the Rams had no answer for the Cowboys' dangerous backfield tandem of Deloy Cook and Jimi Casias. The two combined for 184 yards and five touchdowns.
They didn't play in the second half.
"That was our problem," Babcock said. "We just couldn't get back up."
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