Rams run down Warriors
ZEPHYR COVE – Whittell High School knew what was coming on Friday in its season-opening football game but couldn’t stop it.
Rite of Passage executed a thin offensive playbook by repeatedly utilizing speedy running back Devontay Williams en route to a 38-0 victory.
Williams rushed for 307 yards and three touchdowns as the Rams picked up their first victory of the season to ruin Jeff Jones’ Whittell coaching debut.
“It wasn’t anything new,” Jones said. “We knew it was coming and were telling our kids exactly where they were running.
“I thought we would come out and play football, and for whatever reason, we didn’t flat out tackle or block.”
The 5-foot-6 senior running back scored on runs of 40 and 15 yards as ROP took a 14-0 halftime lead. Williams added a 13-yard touchdown run in the third quarter as ROP wore down the Warriors.
“We just had too many things called back in the first half,” said ROP coach Jerry Grimshaw. “Williams is a great runner and we have a great offensive line, and we said (running) is what we’re going to do.”
And keeping it simple was the game plan when ROP discovered what worked against the Warriors.
“We only came in here tonight with three running plays. That’s all we had,”Grimshaw said. “We were going to run those three running plays over and over again. The kids fought hard.”
The Rams broke open the Northern 2A League game with a 24-point third quarter. Backup quarterback Davonte MacKie connected with Jerry Davis on two long touchdown passes in the big third period. Davis’ 90-yard scoring reception on the second play of the third quarter and a subsequent two-point conversion run by Williams made the score 22-0. Davis’ second score covered 36 yards and Johnny Lopez two-point run completed the scoring.
Whittell’s offense struggled for most of the evening. A first-half interception return to the Rams’ 1 by Hughston Norton gave Whittell its best scoring opportunity but an untimely penalty blew up the scoring chance.
“We have some athletes. They have to get it into their heads that they’re not the biggest kids in the world. They have to use technique,” Jones said. “We were trying to run some of our base offense, and we had guys lining up in the wrong place. I kind of realized that we have to keep it pretty simple.”
A Kenny Boulet fumble recovery at the outset of the fourth quarter triggered Whittell’s best second-half offensive series. Behind the inside running of Norton and some timely runs by quarterback Austin Buyak the Warriors moved from their 15 to the ROP 32. But the Rams’ halted the 14-play drive by stopping Buyak on a fourth-down keeper.
“Whittell fought hard with their 18 guys. They tried hard, but they are just outmanned right now,” said Grimshaw, whose squad was playing their third game. “That had to help. We played Fernley and Yerington, which are two pretty good football teams. That helps a lot because you get some of those things out of the way.”
Whittell, which is 0-2 overall, including a forfeit defeat, will try to earn its first win Friday against Lovelock in Zephyr Cove.