Drew Ravenelle (#11) looks for an opening
by Steev Riccardo
DUDLEY - The Shepherd Hill Rams overcame a shaky opening quarter and went on to defeat the Bartlett Indians 40-14 in the two schools’ annual gridiron meeting on Friday night.
It was a pretty good game for a half. In fact, with a little over three minutes left in the first half, the Rams held a slim 16-14 lead, but the Indians couldn’t take advantage of some opportunities and were no match for the Rams in the second half.
Senior co-captain Akeem Belnavis gave the Indians excellent field position with a 56-yard return to the Rams 29- yard line on the opening kickoff, but the Indians couldn’t capitalize, fumbling inside the ten-yard line.
Moments later, after moving the ball effectively on long runs by Brad Picard and quarterback Drew Ravenelle, the Rams fumbled the ball right back. Indians Sophomore A.J. Caddell picked up the Rams mishap on the 18-yard line.
The Indians failed to capitalize again and punted the ball away after three plays, but it seemed like no one wanted the ball as the Rams fumbled again. Bartlett’s Andrew Dellisle picked up the ball and scampered 41 yards before finally being tackled on the 9-yard line. Two plays later sophomore James Patterson scored on a 1-yard run, giving the Indians a 6-0 lead.
The Rams then put together an impressive 7-play 63-yard drive culminating in a Picard 18-yard touchdown run. Picard added the two-point conversion and the Rams led 8-6 as the opening quarter came to a close.
The Indians failed to move the ball on their next possession and were stopped on a costly fourth down play, giving the Rams the ball with excellent field position on the 42-yard line. Six plays later Tyler Simmons scored on a one-yard plunge and Picard tagged on two more points, giving the Rams a 16-6 lead with 8:01 left in the half.
The Indians scored on their next possession when junior quarterback Ricky Spooner connected with Belnavis on a nifty 27-yard pass play. Spooner hit Belnavis again for the two-point conversion and the Indians were hanging tough trailing by 2, 16-14.
Matt Vertucci gave the Rams excellent field position with a 20-yard kickoff return and three plays later Drew Jean-Guillaume broke free from the pack and scored on a 30- yard run and Jake Gelb added the conversion, making it 24-14.
After going three and out on offense, Indians’ senior Chris Vosburg made a huge defensive play, recovering the Rams third fumble of the half and giving his team great field position with 1:28 left on the 21- yard line.
Spooner connected with Belnavis on first down putting the ball inside the ten-yard line. Alex Givens-Perry picked up gains of three and four yards, but the Rams forced consecutive incompletions by Spooner and the Rams took a ten-point lead into the locker room at the half.
On the third play of the third quarter Jake Gelb went 47 yards giving the Rams a 32-14 lead and the game was essentially over, as the Indians could not get anything significant going offensively in the second half.
Kyle Amico scored a two-yard run to round off the scoring for the Rams, who are now 5-1 on the season.
“Bartlett plays hard, they have some tough warriors over there,” said Rams head coach Chris Lindstrom. “They have some ballplayers and they are dangerous and we kept making mistakes and we were laying the ball down and you can’t do that. That is uncharacteristic of us and we were a little sloppy in that regard. It’s fortunate that we got it going though.”
The Indians, at 2-4, had their chances early but couldn’t take advantage of them. “We got worn down physically and they started breaking some big runs on us and we left some points on the field in the first half,” said head coach Dane Laboissonniere. “On the opening kickoff we left the ball on the 7-yard line and at the end of the first half we left the ball on the two. Conceivably we are talking about being in the lead at the half but it didn’t happen that way and hats off to Shepherd Hill. They played a great game.”
The Indians are now faced with some must- win situations if they want to get back to the District playoffs, starting with a key conference battle with the Millbury Woolies on Friday night at home.
The Rams will meet the undefeated Northbridge Rams at home on Friday night.
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- Monday, 15 October 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Region