By Sara Crosby
Friday night football was at its finest despite the cold, wet and windy weather conditions. The Rockford Rams (6-0) hosted the Hudsonville Eagles (5-1) in a match up that has been long awaited. Last year, the Rams squelched the hopes of a district title for the Eagles with a thrilling 24-21 victory. The Eagles came into Friday nights game, not just as rivals of the Rams but with last years district title to avenge.
The Rams however, had their own title to defend as they came into Friday nights game undefeated for the first time since 2009. The Rams had just come off two less than stellar wins and needed to prove that they were as good as their first four games had indicated. Head Coach Ralph Munger believes that,“We have wins and we have victories” and the last two games have definitely been wins for the Rams and what they needed Friday night was a victory.
The sought after victory for the Rams would begin with an error in the opening drive for the Eagles. An Eagles missed punt, set off by an errant snap, allowed the Rams to take over close to their endzone. The Rams offense would have junior quarterback Chris Corey keep the ball and push into the endzone with the help of powerhouse teammates senior Jaiden Friesen and junior Jacob Vega.
The Eagles however, would spend the night with the Rams defense taking advantage of fumble after fumble. Four fumble recoveries by senior Reid Nicholson, senior Aidan Crosby, junior Luke Mclean and senior Logan Wert would make a clear statement from the Rams: “You can’t move the rock” as stated by Crosby.
The rest of the first half would see the two teams locked in a battle with no scoring until late in the 2nd quarter.The Eagles would block a Ram punt giving them great field position on the doorstep of the Rams end zone.This would result in the Eagles only scoring drive of the night. However, the Rams would answer the Eagles score two drives later with a successful field goal by junior kicker Teagan Lenderink. Both teams left the soaking wet field at half time with the Rams leading 10-7.
The third quarter of the game led with the Rams dominating the clock in a nearly seven minute offensive drive but without putting points on the board. “We knew Hudsonville was going to be tough,” said junior quarterback Chris Corey “but our boys in orange and black came together…” Corey would be right, as the Rams defense recovered a fumble allowing the offense to put them ahead of the Eagles 17-7.
While the Eagles would continually fight to place more points on the board, the Rams defense continued to dominate and would ultimately shut the Eagles down. “We played 100% and we gave it our all” is how leading defensive senior Reid Nicholson would later describe the Rams defense.The score remained 17-7 in the 4th quarter with the Rams offense once again, dominating the clock on their first drive.
In the end the Rams would find themselves getting the much needed victory they were seeking, “This one because of the magnitude of significance, is a Victory” stated head Coach Ralph Munger. The Rams defensive coordinator Coach Randy VanderVeen, felt much the same “The boys played awesome with high energy, we are extremely proud of them.” Coach Munger closed out the night by saying “We do a good job of staying focused on the game that is next. The most important game of the season is always the game you are playing on that Friday night, that’s what we try to focus on”.
As the Rams move on to their eighth game of the season against the Grandville Bulldogs, we will all be focused on them and their drive to prove that their undefeated record is not just a fluke, it’s here to stay.