The Joaquin Rams traveled to Indian Field Friday night, and despite out-gaining the Carlisle Indians 276 yards to 218, the Rams dropped their district opener by a final score of 37-8.
The Indians scored 20 points off of Ram turnovers, including two first half possessions that started inside the red zone. Three times in the first half, the Rams drove deep into Indian territory, only to have drives stall due to untimely penalties or negative plays.
The Indians drew first blood on a 16-yard pass from Caleb Colley to Gustavo Martinez. The PAT by Angel Garza was good, giving the Indians a 7-0 lead at the 6:53 mark in the first quarter. Martinez scored again on a 2-yard run at the 11:10 mark after the Rams set them up with a short field with a botched punt attempt. Garza’s PAT was good again, giving the Indians a 14-0 lead.
The Rams struck back at the 5:51 mark on a 41 yard run by Nate Belrose. Just when the Rams seemed to have gained a little momentum by forcing an Indian punt, things went south again. A lost fumble set the Indians up at the Ram 15-yard line. Martinez scored his third touchdown of the night on the next play. The 2-point conversion attempt was stopped, but the Indians would take a 20-8 lead to the locker room.
The third quarter was scoreless, but the Indians padded their lead on 40 yard field goal by Garza at the 11:01 mark Martinez added a 28 yard touchdown run at the 7:26 mark, followed by a 99 yard return of an interception by Cainin Wimberley with 3:46 remaining to round out the scoring.
Joaquin Head Coach Wayne Gandy was disappointed with the result, but not with his team’s effort.
“Our kids played hard the whole game,” he said. “We had some execution problems, stuff you just can’t do against good football teams. Not taking anything away from Carlisle, because they are a well-coached football team and they played a great game. But we didn’t do what we needed to give ourselves a chance to be successful.”
The Rams were led on offense once again by freshman Nate Belrose, who picked up 96 yards on 14 carries. Junior Jonathon Rico added 72 yards on 12 tries. Armando Robles picked up 33 yards on five carries.
The Rams will return to action on Friday night, when they host the Big Sandy Wildcats in the annual JHS Homecoming game. The Wildcats are 0-6 on the year, having lost their district opener to Beckville by a score of 24-20.
In the other District 9A Division 1 game, Harleton defeated Timpson 20-14.
This week, Beckville (5-1, 1-0) travels to Timpson (4-2, 0-1), while Carlisle (4-2, 1-0) goes to Harleton (5-1, 1-0). Kickoff for all games is set for 7:30 p.m.