Defense Holds Strong as Rams Claw Back to edge Tigers

Nick Stavas's picture

     The Glenwood Rams (3-0, 1-0) have revived the classic 1980 Cleveland Browns’ nickname “The Kardiac Kids” for the time being. After a come-from-behind win last week over Thomas Jefferson, Glenwood found themselves in the same position last night against the Carroll Tigers (1-2, 0-1). The Rams stormed back from 12 down with just eight minutes remaining, scoring 13 unanswered to close out the game, stealing a 13-12 road victory.

     The first half was borderline ugly for Glenwood. The Rams were moving the ball right out of the gate, but petty mistakes committed on what seemed to be every possession kept them scoreless through the entire first half. An interception in the end zone, two lost fumbles and some costly penalties highlighted the first two quarters for the Glenwood offense.

     While he was proud of his team’s comeback win, head coach Cory Faust admitted the Rams have a lot to work on in practice.

     “We’re not really playing very well,” said Faust. “There is definitely a lot of room for improvement, a lot of things we can clean up on both sides of the ball.”

     While there may be things to work on for both units, there is no denying Faust’s defense was stout all night long. Even though it was seemingly on the field the entire game, the Ram defense held the Tigers to only six points in the first half, and was able to stop the bleeding the offense was inflicting.

     The second half was much of the same for three and a half quarters. Both teams traded punts back and forth throughout most of the third. The Tigers finally started to move the ball again on a long, clock-eating drive. After completing some crucial third down passes to wideout Cooper Ross, senior quarterback Justin Mohr found the endzone on a one yard sneak to cap off the drive and give Carroll a 12-0 lead at the end of the third.

     The Rams received the ball on a kickoff to start the final quarter. The Glenwood faithful as well as the Rams themselves had been waiting for a momentum shift all night. That play finally came just 10 seconds into the fourth quarter when senior quarterback Andrew Blum connected with senior wideout Cody Buresh for a 72 yard touchdown, putting the Rams on the board with 11:50 to go. After the PAT was good, the Carroll lead was cut to just five, and Glenwood had new life.

     After both teams traded punts, Glenwood got the ball back with under seven minutes to play. Following a five yard penalty and two incomplete passes, the Rams face third and 15 from their own 13 yard line. An improvised completion from Blum to junior Colton Schutte moved the Rams up to fourth and a manageable three yards. Faust decided to roll the dice, and go for it, and it paid off when junior halfback Noah Carter took it the distance, running 75 yards into the endzone and giving Glenwood a 13-12 lead.

     The defense came up big again when senior safety Jake Murtfeld, who was returning from injury after missing the first two games, came up with an interception to end the next Carroll drive. Glenwood punted it back to the Tigers with just 35 seconds remaining, and the defensive line was able to drop Mohr in the backfield  twice in a row to close out the game.

     Carter was the Rams’ leading rusher with 117 yards on 13 carries, 75 of those came in the game winning touchdown. Blum completed 4/14 passes for 91 yards and a touchdown, and added 70 yards on the ground.

     While there weren’t many standout stats to rave about on the offensive side, the Glenwood defense was nothing short of impressive. Senior lineman Isaac Bales had a great night on defense, coming up with some big sacks in the first half and some even bigger stops late in the game. Our Barrett Auto Center Player of the Game commented on his personal performance.

     “[I felt] very good, actually, they had a tough line, I had a tough guy on me, but I just grinded it out,” said Bales.

     Bales and Faust were proud of the way the team battled throughout the entire game.

     “Our boys worked hard… it was just a great game,” said Bales. “I loved it.”

     Faust said, “Obviously it was a great effort, a gutty effort, having to come from behind and pull it out at the end.”

     The Rams will have a tough opponent next week, in a game that will likely get a lot of hype from both the town and the media in the days leading up to it. Glenwood will host the Harlan Cyclones (2-1, 1-0) who is coming off an unexpected blowout win over Creston. This game will have large postseason implications even though it is early in the season. On paper it looks as if the winner of next week’s showdown will likely be in total control of the district standings. There is no doubt Ram Memorial Field will be rocking next week. A full preview article of that game can be found next week on Glenwoodsports.com or tune into the Full Timeout podcast on Tuesday for a preview of the match up as well.

Section: