By CLINT FOSTER
It was a night of firsts for the Mineral Wells Rams (1-7, 1-2): their first lead in a game, first shutout. But no first was more important or special than their first win of the season. It was a breath of fresh air for the entire Rams team and their fans, but especially the seniors.
For the first time this season the Mineral Wells Rams were in complete control of a game from start to finish, running over the Fort Worth Diamond Hill-Jarvis Eagles (0-8), 58-0, on Friday night at Rams Stadium.
On a team of roughly 30, many of whom have been injured this season, more than half are seniors and earning their first win in front of a pink-out home crowd was a special moment.
Many seniors shined against the Eagles. Wide receiver and defensive back Colby Kissinger started the scoring avalanche off with a 55-yard punt return for a touchdown after the second drive of the game.
Later that quarter, he nabbed an interception and almost had a 57-yard rushing touchdown on his first carry of the season that was called back for holding.
Kissinger was quick to shift the glory to his teammates.
“It’s my team that’s doing all the work, getting their blocks,” he said. “It’s one heck of a team. We’re only working with 26 guys right now.
“A lot of the people on this team right now have a lot of heart.
“I’m really proud of my team. I count them as family.”
The Rams were also dominant in the running game, with six players racking up 295 yards on the ground and a combined seven touchdowns. Senior DeShawn Hicks led the way, showcasing his outside speed on five carries for 120 yards and three scores.
“I just had a bunch of good blocks,” Hicks said. “I saw my holes and I hit them. It feels good to win. We’ve been needing one all year.”
Defensively, the Rams carried over their success from the Lake Worth game and smothered the Eagles. Diamond Hill could only muster 36 yards of total offense, all on the ground, and a mere two first downs.
The Eagles were 0-for-4 passing with two interceptions – both to seniors, Kissinger and Omery Trevino – and a third pick bounce out of a Rams defender’s hands.
Defensive tackle Preston Hoskins anchored a senior-laden defensive line, including tackle Angel Gutierrez and defensive ends Lucas Barham and Elijuan Combs.
Each one manhandled the Eagle offensive line and exerted their will in the opposing backfield.
“I’ve got a great defensive line, good linebackers, a great defensive corps,” Hoskins said. “When they’re doing their job, it just makes it really easy to do mine. I give my performance to my teammates. Without them I wouldn’t be the way I am right now.”
Hoskins continued on the importance of the win.
“It’s a great feeling. I’ve been desperately wanting one all season. We all have.
“Just to come out and show everybody that we are capable of winning and putting some points on the board. We are in the running for the playoffs.”
Head coach Chuck Lawrence recognized the significance of the win and hopes the success will carry over to next week’s crucial home district matchup against the Springtown Porcupines (3-5, 2-1).
“Any win is big,” he said. “The seniors only have one more home game.
“Hopefully we can win that one and they’ll end their Rams Stadium career with two straight wins.
“That will be something they can remember for a lifetime.”
These Rams seniors can never be accused of backing down from a challenge. They have every intention to win that last home game and march toward the postseason. Gutierrez said it best:
“We’ve got playoffs on our mind,” he said. “We’re going to shut ‘em down.”