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Rams survive defensive battle against Southeast, improve to 2-0

The Rams continued their 2020 season on Thursday after dismantling East Lake High 40-7 to open their season last Friday. This game, however, was a much different game than the one we saw last week.

The Rams came out firing on all cylinders. The defense forced a three and out, and on the very first play from scrimmage for the Rams’ offense, QB Will Evans connected with Jaron Glover for a 73-yard touchdown. The defense continued to get stop after stop--Southeast could just not find a way to score.

With just one-minute left in the first quarter, Southeast had first and goal at the 5. The Rams forced them into a fourth and goal situation at the 1-yard line which they failed to convert on, giving Riverview a huge momentum boost. That was very short-lived however, and after the turnover on downs, the Rams had to start from their own 1-yard line, where RB Hayes Jr. got wrapped up in the endzone, leading to a safety. The Rams’ offense after their first drive could not get going at all.

With a relatively young O line, you saw the fast and explosive d line overpower the Rams’ O line, applying a lot of pressure on the QB and getting sacked several times. Luckily, the offensive woes didn’t hurt as much because the defense kept making plays.

Southeast had no answers on the passing game but did have a solid night running the football, especially their starting QB who has elite speed and can hit the edge fast.

The Rams did make a push at the end of the half and got within the 15-yard line but failed to convert as time expired. The Rams went into the second half up 7-2.

The Rams started the second half with the ball, and it didn’t go as planned, as they threw their second pick of the day. This time though, it gave the Seminoles great field position. The Rams’ defense however came up big again and held Southeast to a field goal, which narrowed the Rams’ lead to just two. The Rams’ offense finally got moving down the field and gave the special teams unit plenty of chances to extend their 2-point lead.

The Rams couldn't convert on any of these chances, missing three field goals throughout the third and fourth quarters, which gave Southeast one more opportunity with three minutes left remaining in the fourth quarter with the score still 7-5. Southeast was driving and had second and 5 at about midfield where they threw up a 30-yard pass down the left sideline that was tipped by two Riverview defenders and then somehow, someway, the catch was made behind his head but was ruled incomplete as the receiver couldn’t get his feet in bounds.

Southeast ended up being faced with fourth and 5 with 1.30 left and failed to convert, so with no timeouts remaining, Riverview was able to close out the win and improve its record to 2-0 on the young season.

Looking ahead to next week's matchup vs. Venice

Riverview football is back in action at the Ram Bowl Sept. 25 at 7:30 p.m. against a very tough opponent in Venice. Venice is ranked No. 27 in the state and is 2-1 coming off back-to-back victories by a combined margin of 106. Venice’s only loss of the season comes to No. 1 nationally ranked IMG by a score of 49-13, led by star QB and Michigan University recruit JJ Mccarthy.

For the Rams to come up with a big-time win next week, they are going to have to limit turnovers. They had two last night vs. Southeast, and they are going to have to keep that at a max of one. Making field goals--this shouldn’t be a key to a game, but it is for Riverview. The Rams put themselves in a dangerous spot against Southeast with all those missed field goals. Venice isn't Southeast, so missing three field goals is going to be hard to come back from against a team like Venice. Finally, the defense must keep playing as it is now because the Venice offense is rolling. If the defense plays as it did last night, Rams limit the turnovers and can knock down those field goals, fans can have a good feeling for this upcoming Friday.

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