VARDAMAN – It was the perfect night for football as the Vardaman Rams took the field against the Hamilton Lions for the Rams homecoming.
In a game of inches, the Rams would emerge on top by a score of 16-12.
Red zone problems
The game began slow, with the Rams offense failing to capitalize, and the defense keeping the Lions at bay. The first quarter was scoreless.
The second quarter saw the Rams offense pick up the pace, driving down field on a drive with big gains, however, they stalled in the red zone and were forced to settle for a field goal from senior kicker Kevin Johnson, who had a good night kicking wise. He consistently placed punts and kickoffs deep in their territory, as well as making field goals.
Senior Quarterback Britton Bailey struggled at times throughout the game, with passes falling incomplete, however, he did not throw a single interception.
Bailey was forced to rely heavily on senior wide receiver Grant Fugett for the passing game and sophomore running back, Logan Jenkins for the running game.
The Lions offense was a fly in the Rams' ointment with their aggressive style of play calling, often times utilyzing their powerful run game to break through the Rams' defensive line.
It was not until late in the game that the Rams began to get control of the run game, which forced the Lions to switch to passing, which they were not as successful with.
Once the Rams defense had halted the progress of the Lions offense, and the third quarter pass to Hayden Alexander resulting in a touchdown bringing the score to 12-9, the Rams offense began to take shape. They were able to make big gains, and also draw penalties on the Lions defense that helped the yardage gain. However, just when the tide seemed to have turned in the Rams' favor, Bailey was sacked on a 4th and goal play, which seemed to spell the end of the night for the Rams. However, the defense was not done yet.
The Lions took over on downs at the Rams red zone, and the defense forced a fumble on the very first play, recovering it and bringing up a 1st and goal for the Rams, giving them a chance at redemption and most importantly, a win.
A Quarterback keeper allowed Bailey to sneak into the end zone, followed by a successful field goal, brought the score to its final of 16-12.
The Rams defense capped off the night with a huge stop on fourth down ending the losing streak and bringing the Rams their first win of the season.
After the final whistle, the Rams flooded the field along with family and classmates to celebrate the win. With an emotional celebration, the Rams, in a show of appreciation, in unison pointed to Head Coach Brennan Pugh, who was still quarantined watching the game from a crane in his back yard. All the while, a fireworks show was raging from behind the north endzone.
The Rams now have to reset and prepare for a road game against West Lowndes on Friday.