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Junior Deer Park Rams open TIFI campaign with 28-6 win over Tigers

August 19, 2018 GMT

When the Deer Park Rams and Tigers meet in their annual TIFI season-opening showdown, breathing room is essential.

If there’s no breathing room in this rivalry, one fumble, one penalty, one interception can lead to big-time trouble.

So when the Junior Tigers got within two points, creating an 8-6 deficit, there was no breathing room left for the Rams.

So how ironic was it that a Junior Rams touchdown drive that began with a fumble gave the team some sorely-needed breathing room again?

Rams quarterback Caiden Wells picked up a loose ball and turned it into one of the day’s longest scampers, leading to the team eventually scoring 20 unanswered points as the Rams came away with a 28-6 victory at Clyde Abshier Stadium Saturday afternoon.

Ean Terry scored two of the three scoreboard-padding touchdowns, one in each half, to help the team start the season on the right foot.

But it was the team’s possession that started the second quarter that immediately swiped the momentum back from the Tigers.

The very first play of the six-play scoring drive saw the football fall to the turf as something went awry between Wells and his center.

But Wells calmly picked up the ball, scooted to his right and found daylight, rumbling 33 yards to the Tigers 17.

The Rams avoided disaster on the very next play when another ball was loose on the turf but Nixon Richey alertly fell on it. Angel Gonzalez, who scored the third scoreboard-padding touchdown, then ran to the seven.

After a holding call and a run for no gain, that shaky two-point lead looked like it was going to stick around for halftime. But back-to-back sweet runs by Terry provided that breathing room when he rambled in from five yards out for a 14-6 lead.

The Rams then all but iced the victory with an outstanding possession that chewed up the majority of the third quarter and some of the fourth when the team marched 75 yards in eight plays for their third score.

A 29-yard pass play put the team in the red zone and three plays later, Terry was scoring from three yards out to help make it 21-6.

Getting the Tigers within that 8-6 score was Tommy Johnson who found the right corner of the end zone.

Jakobe Meza and Elijah Rodriguez also turned in nice Tiger runs. The Tigers were 20 yards away from a second TD after Rodriguez’s 30-yard run, but the drive went no further thanks to the Rams defense registering losses of five and four yards.

ravery@hcnonline.com