“We thought we could pin them down deep, but our coverage team – which had played great all night – made its only mistake of the game.
“That kickoff return by Castleberry was huge,” Lawrence said. “That was a big loss because we knew if we won and beat Diamond Hill that chances were good that we were going to make the playoffs.”
The Rams absolutely had to win their following district game at rainy Lake Worth. Playing its best defensive game of the year sans Diamond Hill the Rams held Lake Worth to just two touchdowns but could only muster one TD on offense.
“After our loss to Castleberry the Lake Worth game became our ‘Super Bowl,’” Lawrence said. “We knew we had to win that one to help our playoff chances.
“The kids played hard, and I thought when the rain started it bothered them, but we slugged through it. You take away the long run by the quarterback ... that was really the only play all night that our defense made a major mistake.
“We had some scoring opportunities that we did not capitalize on, but that’s football. I thought our special teams played well, and it was a game where we didn’t take advantage of the chances that we had and we gave up a big play.”
The Rams faced winless Diamond Hill next as the offense and special teams scored in the game and the defense pitched a shutout.
“We played a complete game,”Lawrence said.”You come to expect that against Diamond Hill, but we dominated in all three phases of the game – offense, defense and special teams.
“That was a game we hoped would springboard us into the Springtown game the following week.”
Springtown was next, and the Rams slugged it out with the Porcupines. The Rams trailed just 14-13 at the half and took the lead three times in the game. But the Porcupines wore down the shorthanded Rams, who because of injuries were forced to play several key players on both offense and defense.