Ramblers Blowout Bengals in 27 Point Victory
Written by: Keegan Welka on Tuesday, September 18th, 2018
The Ramblers redeemed themselves Friday night with a 66-39 victory against the Benedictine Bengals. It was only right for Prep to rebound after last week against Saint Ed’s, which resulted in an embarrassing 35-3 loss.
Prep changed their roster drastically tonight, most notably at the quarterback position. Colin Johnson started instead of Regan Schleicher, who was placed as receiver instead. Also, kicker Colin Kelly was placed as a safety tonight, further editing the roster that has been seen the whole season.
To start the game, Benedictine elected to receive first. But this decision quickly backfired after they were stopped in just four plays by the Rambler defense.
Starting at their own 35 yard line after the punt, Prep’s offense was hungry for a touchdown. Highlighted by a 43 yard run by Billy Lucas, the Ramblers first drive was efficient, ultimately ending in a touchdown. Colin Johnson was responsible for the first points, taking the ball himself at the 2 yard line and running to the outside before diving into the end zone. After the extra point, Prep was ahead 7-0 with 8:22 left in the quarter.
Benedictine returned the kick after Prep’s score to the 32 yard line. The Bengals showed potential to have a decent drive, with Prep’s secondary having an off night. However, the passes that were thrown were dropped frequently. After a first down, receiver Charles Rosser dropped two consecutive wide open passes. Because of these in-completions, any momentum the Bengals’ had was lost.
On their next drive, Prep began at the 20 yard line after a touchback. Colin Johnson had a good run on the second play, running the ball himself for 24 yards. Following his rush, the Ramblers had a drive of short gains, which slowly but surely led them to the end zone. Prep scored with Lucas willing his way in on 3rd and inches. After the extra point was blocked, it was 13-0 with 2:47 left in the 1st Quarter.
Benedictine’s third drive was quickly stopped in just four plays, with the Ramblers playing stellar defense. Adversely, Prep had a successful third drive. At first, Prep had a decent drive that saw a couple short gains. But after the first quarter ended and play resumed, Lucas ran for 29 yards for touchdown. With 11:54 left in the half, the score was set at 20-0.
The Bengals finally responded with some points of their own on their first drive of the 2nd Quarter. After a gradual drive, Benedictine finally scored off of a 16 yard pass to receiver Jalen Edwards. The score was increased to 20-7 after the extra point, giving Benedictine some hope.
But Prep responded accordingly on the following drive by scoring another touchdown. After multiple large yard gains including a diving catch by Schleicher for a 13 yard gain, Prep was making very solid progress. This progress was skyrocketed after Johnson threw to receiver Jack Oedekoven, who took the ball all the way to the end zone with 7:04 left in the quarter.
Benedictine didn’t back down though. The Bengals actually scored in just 4 plays, resulting from a 60 yard bomb to receiver Chris Gales. After the ball went through the uprights, the score difference was now 27-14 with 5:38 left in the half.
Prep scored off of an interesting position change on their next drive. After four plays resulting in large yard gains, the Ramblers found themselves at Benedictine’s 41 yard line. And at the 41 yard line, people noticed defensive leader Joey Scarabino lined up at the tight end position. And sure enough, the play resulted in the ball being thrown to him up the middle, taking it all the way into the end zone. After the extra point, the score was set at 34-14 with 4:21 left in the half.
Before the half would end, Benedictine was determined to get some form of points on the board. After a grueling 14 play drive, the Bengals were forced to settle for a field goal, decreasing the score difference to 34-17 with 6 seconds left in the half.
After halftime, the Ramblers had a longer drive of their own. After the offensive pair of Lucas and running back Luke Sittinger carried the offensive load of the drive, Prep eventually got into the end zone off of a 19 yard run by Lucas. After Kelly’s extra point was blocked, Prep obtained an even larger lead of 40-17 with 9:13 left in the quarter.
At this point, it was clear that Prep had won the contest. The Bengals seemed demoralized after their defense could hardly hang with the Ramblers running game. But the one thing that kept this game going without a running clock was Prep’s poor pass coverage.
“Our pass coverage needs some work,” Kicker Colin Kelly stated, “Some of the blame can be put on me because it was my first time out there on defense but all around, we need to work on our passing defense.”
The Bengals were able to reach the end zone on their next drive after several large passes that were made complete due to poor coverage. Eventually, the progress that was made by the passing game allowed Benedictine to run the ball in for a touchdown with 3:23 left in the quarter, making the score 40-24 after a successful 2 point conversion coming off of a short pass.
Prep cored once again on their next drive with a 19 yard Sittinger carry, changing the score to 47-25 with 1:30 left in the quarter. Then after Benedictine got the ball back and the quarter ended, the Bengals obtained another touchdown. Right after the beginning of the final quarter, Benedictine threw a 49 yard bomb resulting in a touchdown, taking back the 7 points they had lost on the previous drive. The score now was 47-32 with 11:52 left in the 4th quarter.
After a pair of scoreless drives from both teams, Prep broke the short scoring drought after Shleicher was subbed back in and threw a short touchdown pass to Mike Lupo with 7:14 left in the game, extending the score even further to 54-32. The Ramblers scored once again, this time with the defensive backfield redeeming themselves. It was Darius Williams who was responsible for the points, recording a pick six after predicting a passing lane perfectly. The score was now notched up to 60-32 with 6:31 left in the contest, after a Kelly’s kick was once again blocked.
Benedictine scored their final points almost as soon as they got the ball back. After a failed running attempt and an incomplete pass, it was on third down when their runningback took the ball for 63 yards all the way into the end zone, dragging the game on further with 5:33 on the clock. The score was now 60-39, and of course this game wouldn’t be complete with yet another touchdown. The final points of the game came off of a QB sneak by Schleicher for 4 yards, giving the Ramblers an obnoxious lead of 66-39, right after Kelly missed yet another extra point attempt.
The Ramblers offense showed great progress against the Bengals, especially in the running department. Billy Lucas, Colin Johnson, and Luke Sittinger combined for over 300 yards rushing in the contest,and Johnson also stepped up to his new starting role with over 90 yards passing as well. However, if there is one thing holding Prep back in last years team’s shadow, it’s their pass coverage. The defensive line is playing decent lately, limiting opposing squads running games, but the pass coverage lately has been sub par at best.
The Ramblers will finally play their second home game on Friday the 21st, this time against frequent opponent Canisius. Last year, Prep defeated the Buffalo school narrowly after Canisius nearly came back from getting blown out, so its important not to underestimate the cross state rivals this year.
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