By TONY EIERDAM
Hello, win column!
Carrying over an outstanding defensive effort from a week before and scoring on offense and special teams, the Mineral Wells Rams notched their first victory of the year after dominating the Fort Worth Diamond Hill Eagles, 58-0, Friday night in a District 6-3A contest at Ram Stadium.
The win raises the Rams’ district mark to 1-2 and 1-7 overall, while the Eagles drop to 0-3 and 0-8.
In other 6-3A action, Kennedale ran past Castleberry, 65-13, and Springtown, the Rams’ opponent next week (7:30 p.m. kickoff at Ram Stadium), had little trouble in a 49-7 win over Lake Worth.
The Rams opened the scoring on special teams when senior Colby Kissinger returned a punt for 55 yards to the end zone. The Rams’ offense, led on the ground by DaShawn Hicks and Tristan Seargeant, found the end zone five times in the first half as MWHS built a 40-0 cushion.
Hicks led all rushers with 126 yards on just five carries, including TD runs of 23, 56 and 22 yards, respectively, and Seargeant, who was cleared to play moments before the contest kicked off, added 65 yards on 10 toes with touchdown runs of seven and 16 yards and a one-yard TD reception from quarterback Caleb Acosta.
But the story of the game was the Rams’ defense, which not only pitched a shutout but only allowed Diamond Hill to cross midfield one time – to the Rams’ 49-yard line. Even that foray into Rams’ territory did not last long as the Eagles lost a fumble on the next play.
The stout MWHS defense allowed just 36 yards on 32 DHHS carries and did not allow a single pass reception.
“Everything came together – offense, defense and special teams,” Rams head coach Chuck Lawrence said. “The kids played hard, they practiced hard all week and they executed the game plan (Friday night) almost to perfection. You have to be pleased with the effort.”
Despite scoring just one touchdown in district play, the Eagles came into the game with a new offense and legitimate threats on offense in 230-pound running back Tim Robinson and fleet wide receiver Luis Reyes.
But the Rams held Robinson to 24 yards on 19 carries and cornerbacks Kissinger and Rascellis Williams, assigned to cover Reyes, did not allow the Eagles’ leading receiver to catch a pass.
“We were concerned with them hitting Reyes on long passes so we put (Colby) Kissinger on him and Roscoe (Williams) on him and they shut him down,” Lawrence said. “Robinson is a big, good-looking back and we knew we were going to have to tackle him low.
“Our tackling was sure and I think he got discouraged. We put several hats (helmets) on him on every play. They ran the I wing and the fullback trap, but we also stopped their toss sweep and isolation plays. The guys did a good job of tackling low and also helping out on each play. I thought we did a good job of getting multiple hats on him.
“This is the second week in a row where our defense has played outstanding, and we are getting better at tackling low. We are also pursuing the ball better and doing a better job of filling the gaps.”
After Kissinger’s return gave the Rams their first lead of the season, Hicks outran the Eagles’ defense for scores of 23 and 56 yards. Kicker Patrick Folkner booted two extra points but another was blocked as the Rams led 20-0 after the first quarter.
In the second period Acosta threw a TD pass to Seargeant on a drive that covered 36 yards on five plays that was set up by an interception from Kissinger.
The Rams, who rushed for 295 yards, found the end zone on the ground two more times before the half ended as Seargeant capped a three-play drive with a seven-yard blast over the goal line and another TD came on a four-yard run by Parks. That TD was set up by a pickoff by Omery Trevino.
With the game well in hand, the Rams’ defense dug in during the second half and did not allow the Eagles on its side of the gridiron.
The Rams rushed for three touchdowns in the second half as Hicks, Seargeant and Parks each took a turn running to pay dirt.
The Rams will continue district play at 7:30 p.m Friday (Nov. 1) at home against Springtown.