And when the defensive line couldn’t make a play, the linebackers and secondary stepped up. Colby Kissinger made a significant impact in the defensive secondary, defending multiple passes after DeShawn Hicks went down with a minor injury.
“They played their best game of the year, without a doubt,” Lawrence said of his defense. “Obviously that was the game plan. We moved the linemen around a little bit and it seemed to bother them. We just gave up the two early scores. But they fought tooth and nail from there. Our defensive line played outstanding.”
The total defensive performance was personified in a goal line stand in the fourth quarter. The Bullfrogs were up 14-6 and had fourth-and-1 on the Mineral Wells goal line. But the Rams stuffed the Lake Worth offense, as they had done so often that night, and the whole sideline celebrated like they had won the Super Bowl. The defense was carrying the team.
Unfortunately, the Mineral Wells offense simply couldn’t capitalize consistently on the opportunities their defense gave them. Two plays after the goal line stand came a safety and the final points of the game.
Still, the loss wasn’t for a lack of effort in any phase of the game and Lawrence took nothing away from his team.
“They’re practicing hard, they’re playing hard, we’re just coming up short on the scoreboard,” he said. “But I promise you, I don’t know if there’s ever been anybody play any harder.”
Moving forward, the Rams goal remains the same as it always was: reach the playoffs. And they only need two wins to do so. They’ve come heartbreakingly close to that first win in consecutive weeks now, and this is a team that desperately wants to get over the hump. Next week they host the Diamond Hill-Jarvis Eagles (0-7) at 7:30 p.m. in Rams Stadium and that may be as good a time as any to take that next step.