Rams 2-0 after strong second-half performance

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After a quiet first half, Soroco senior Nick Rangel exploded for 133 yards in the second half of Friday's football game leading the Rams to a 21-0 victory against Saratoga in Wyoming.

"The coaches are really pleased with the outcome," coach Gary Heide said. "We were lucky to be tied at halftime, but the kids really turned it on in the second half to win this ball game."

Heide said the Rams struggled offensively in the first two quarters but were able to come up with well-timed defensive stands to keep the home team out of the end zone.

Saratoga threatened to score three times in the first half, but the Panthers were turned away by key defensive plays.

The Rams stopped Saratoga on the 13-yard line during the opening drive of the game. Saratoga attempted a field goal, but came away empty.

On offense, the Rams failed to make the needed blocks, and Rangel and company struggled to move the ball on the ground and through the air.

The Rams' biggest offensive play in the first half came when quarterback Johnny DeCosta hit Kane Johnson on a 40-yard screen.

But like Saratoga, the Rams failed to capitalize on the opportunity leading to a scoreless game at the half.

In the second half, the Rams returned to the power running game that helped the squad top the Rifle junior varsity in the opening game of the season.

Heide said the entire offensive line -- including 190-pound Lyall Delamater, 155-pound Ben Crawford, 260-poud Jake Wofford, 205-pound Dennis Morgan, 180-pound Bryan Luark and 170-pound tight end Johnson -- picked up the level of their games in the second half.

He said it allowed Rangel and DeCosta to find the holes they needed to make big runs and control the game clock.

The Rams scored on the opening drive of the second half when DeCosta kept the ball on a designed bootleg that went for 37 yards and the score.

The Rams also scored later in the quarter when Rangel scampered for 32 yards to make the score 14-0.

The final score was set up by a Saratoga fumble late in the game. Bryan Spaeth jumped on the loose ball on Saratoga's 2-yard line. A play later, DeCosta kept the ball on a quarterback sneak to secure the win.

Rangel finished the game with 183 yards on 21 carries. DeCosta had 63 yards on seven carries. He also had two touchdowns.

The Rams' passing game was better than last week, as DeCosta went 2-for-4 passing for 63 yards. He also had an interception. Rangel caught one pass for 22 yards and Johnson had the other reception for 41 yards.

"There is no question that we are going to be a running team this season," Heide said. "But we have to show that we can pass the ball, too."

The Rams, 2-0, will open the league season Saturday against West Grand. The Must--angs, 1-1, lost a heartbreaker to Summit County, 35-34, earlier this season and hammered South Park, 29-0, last week.

Heide said the Rams must play better if they hope to shut down West Grand's Berry Klotz. Klotz is the Mustangs top rusher and also an intimidating linebacker.

Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Oak Creek.

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