The Soroco Rams opened their football season on a positive note Saturday with a resounding victory against Rifle's junior varsity squad in Rifle.
"It was a good way for our boys to open the season," coach Gary Heide said. "But we still have a lot of work to do."
The coach said there are plenty of positives that came out of the Ram's 21-6 victory against the Rifle Bears' younger squad last weekend.
He was pleased with the play of senior running back Nick Rangel, who rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns in the game. He also liked what he saw from fellow back Brian Spaeth, who went for 120 yards, and quarterback John DeCosta, who finished with 53 rushing yards and one touchdown.
But he said the Rams are going to need to pass the ball better if they want to be competitive in the Western Slope League.
DeCosta failed to complete a pass on four attempts during the game and was sacked three times on pass plays. The team also botched three snaps, losing two of them to the Bears.
"We are going to have to show that we can throw the ball," Heide said.
But on Saturday, the Rams racked up 327 yards in offense without completing a single pass.
The Rams scored the first touchdown of the game in the first quarter when Rangel capped a 50-yard drive with a two-yard rushing touchdown. Rams kicker Jesus Garcia, who was 3-for-3 on extra points in the game, made the score 7-0 by connecting on the point after touchdown.
The score remained 7-0 until the third quarter, when Rangel scored his second touchdown of the game on a 2-yard run.
Again, the play capped a long drive and gave the Rams a commanding 14-0 lead.
Rifle blocked a Rams punt early in the fourth quarter and recovered the ball on Soroco's 2-yard line. A touchdown a few plays later made the score 14-6.
But the Rams responded with another long drive. This time, DeCosta finished the drive with a short run to push the team's lead to 21-6.
The Rams will make the 2 1/2-hour drive to Saratoga, Wyo., on Friday. The nonconference showdown is with the Saratoga Panthers, a team that finished 6-3-0 last year in Wyoming's 2A class.