Varsity Football Wins in Season Opener
September 4, 2018
On August 24, the Varsity Football team played Pequea Valley at home to get the season underway. The Rams got the early lead and kept building on that early offense and lockdown defense to get the shutout victory, 33-0.
Head coach Christopher Grube said, “I felt that we executed our assignments defensively very well, however, we had to make a lot of adjustments offensively due to no really knowing what type of defensive front [Pequea Valley] would come out with” when asked about how he felt the game went.
The Rams would receive the opening kickoff of the game. That first possession did not last long and ended with a quick turnover.
Pequea Valley could not do anything on their first possession and went three and out. The Rams had great field position after a botched Pequea Valley punt.
The Rams had no problems executing on their second drive of the game, and junior running back Joshua Vipperman scored the first touchdown of the game with 6:31 left in the first quarter. After the missed extra point, the score was 6-0, Rams lead.
The next Pequea Valley drive did not go far, and they were forced to punt the ball back to the Rams.
Then, after a few passing and rushing plays, junior running back Wyatt McCleary scored another Rams rushing touchdown. The extra point was good the second time around, and the Rams extended their lead to 13-0 over Pequea Valley.
A little later, Pequea Valley did not get a good kickoff return and would start their next drive with bad field position. To make it worse for Pequea, the Rams had a couple of good defensive plays and pushed the Braves back inside their own ten yard line to end the first quarter.
If the end of the first quarter wasn’t bad enough for Pequea Valley, the opening to the second quarter was even worse. On the first play of the second quarter, the Rams forced a Brave fumble inside their own ten, giving the Rams the best field position all game.
Then, the Rams scored another touchdown on the first play after the Pequea fumble. Again, the extra point could not be converted, making the score 20-0, Rams lead.
After the Rams touchdown that started the second quarter, neither team would score again in the first half, leaving the score at 20-0 at halftime.
The Rams received the opening kickoff, so that meant Pequea received the kickoff to start the second half.
Pequea seemed to be putting together a good drive, until McCleary intercepted a Pequea throw and returned it to the endzone for a pic six. However, the Rams would only get six points after failing to convert on the extra point, making the score 26-0 with about six minutes left in the third quarter.
Grube thought that McCleary’s interception sealed the victory at that point in the game. That interception came because of a part of the game plan. “We forced [Pequea Valley] to throw the ball, and we were in the right position to make plays,” Grube said.
The next Pequea Valley drive could not produce points either, and they had to punt the ball back to the Rams offense.
Rams got into the red zone but could not score before the time expired in the third quarter.
However, the Rams had no problems scoring in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, making a 33-0 lead for the Rams after the made extra point.
After that Rams touchdown, both teams got a couple more possessions, but neither team scored in the remainder of the game.
With that being said, the Rams shutout the Braves 33-0 for the season opener win and start the season 1-0.
McCleary led the team in rushing yards with 84 rushing yards on 12 attempts. Senior quarterback Noah Hulslander completed two out of five passes and threw for a total of 21 yards.
McCleary had two rushing touchdowns and one defensive touchdown.
Senior defensive players Noah Kull and Wesley Forrester both had two sacks.
“The Goat Pen”, the Rams student section, was packed for the season opener. “I think our student section is the best in York County. When you have students from neighboring schools wanting to join our student section, you know you’re doing something right,” Grube said. He also added that he really liked when the students threw the baby powder in the air.
The student section can really have an effect on how the players perform in any given game. When the whole student section is cheering loudly, the players feed off of that energy, and it helps them in the game.
Grube noted that his players feed off of the student sections energy and that the players play a lot harder when they hear the loud crowd.
Sommer said, “I had a ton of fun at the football game. I would just love to see more participation by the underclassmen in chants.”