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Painful repeat in Ram's finale [Brian Herman article in the Valley Independent]

Posted Saturday, October 25, 2008 by Ed Dalton

Painful repeat in Rams' finale

By Brian Herman
VALLEY INDEPENDENT SPORTS EDITOR
Saturday, October 25, 2008

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CARROLL TOWNSHIP -- History repeated for Ringgold High's football team in the regular season finale Friday.

Unfortunately it wasn't the kind of news that second-year Rams' coach Jeff Petrucci wanted to see.

 

 

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Last year the Rams lost 1,000-yard passer Jason Fowler in the second quarter of a 33-21 loss to Belle Vernon Area at Jim Weir Stadium in the showdown for second place in the Keystone Conference.

Last night it was 1,000 yard passer Shane Mountain, who left the game in the third quarter as the Rams fell to Trinity, 14-7 at Joe Montana Stadium in the battle for the third seed in the Big Seven Conference.

Mountain's injury, however, wasn't much of a factor since the Hillers (5-4, 3-3) led 14-0 before his departure with 4:06 to go in the third period.

Despite taking a two-game winning streak into the finale, the Rams (6-3, 3-3) failed to score in the first half for the third straight game.

"I don't know if we're tipping our hand on offense," said Petrucci. "We're just not playing well but give Trinity credit. They played hard, came in and did what they had to do."

"It was our most complete game of the season," said Trinity coach Ed Dalton, whose club finished with three straight victories. "We were determined to fix the mess after the loss to Belle Vernon."

The Hillers' defense limited the 178 total offense yards including 65 on the ground.

Ringgold's Simon Bekavac, who was averaging over 100 yards a game, was limited to 44 yards on 16 carries.

Trinity's offense was sparked by 6-0, 205 pound sophomore Kyle McWreath.

McWreath, who entered the contest with one carry for three yards, gained 95 yards on seven runs.

It was McWreath, who set up the lone touchdown in the first half by dragging Ringgold tacklers on runs of 31 and 35 yards, to highlight a 92-yard drive following a 63-yard punt by Bekavec.

Dalton wasn't surprised by McWreath's showing.

"He couldn't play offense the first five games because of an injury," he aid. "But McWreath is a dominating player both ways and he's going to be a really good one."

Dustin Avolio went over from five yards out with 2:15 remaining.

The Hillers scored their second touchdown by driving 66 yards with the second half kickoff with McWreath going the last five.

Ringgold scored 3:33 later when Bekavac broke three tackles on a seven-yard run with 2:20 left in the third quarter.

Dave Bassi, who moved from tight end when Mountain went out, completed a 67-yard scoring drive with a 12-yard pass to Andrew Wyvratt a key play before Bekavac broke a 13-yarder to the Hillers' seven.

Besides starring offensively, McWreath came up with a big play defensively when he intercepted Bassi with 5:56 to go after the Rams drove to the Trinty 19.

Trinity's Alex Frey ended the Rams' last hope when he intercepted Bassi with 1:07 left.

LEFTOVERS: Trinity's Michael Cleveland missed a 40-yard field goal attempt with 7:13 left in the second quarter. The Rams had 22 yards rushing in the first half. Ringgold's Ricky Douglas had five receptions for 57 yards. The loss snapped a six-game home winning streak for the Rams.

 

Brian Herman can be reached at bherman@tribweb.com or 724-684-2667.
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