SADLER — S&S head coach Josh Aleman gave his team one simple assignment after the Rams’ dominating 70-0 season-opening win over Tom Bean: "Enjoy this win."
As the team ran off the field toward the locker room, Aleman smiled and said, "I couldn’t be more happy. They’ve worked hard. They’ve busted their butt in the weight room. They’ve gotten into the classroom. They’ve just bought in."
It seemed like the team was able to put nearly two years worth of frustration into the outburst. The Rams went winless in 2018 and their only victory last season snapped an 18-game losing streak. Now they have already entered the win column with nearly the entirely of the schedule still to come.
S&S tied its school record for most points and largest margin of victory, matching a 70-0 victory against Prosper to close out the 1965 season. It was also the Rams’ first shutout in four years.
In the final eight games of last season, S&S had a total of 78 points as part of 118 across 10 games.
Aleman credited senior leadership and just plain, old hard work that showed up in a complete team performance which was led by running back Colby McSpedden, who rushed for three touchdowns and 213 yards on just nine carries.
Rams quarterback Jake Reynolds threw for 104 yards and one touchdown on 4-of 11 passing but did most of his damage on the ground as the senior also rushed for 148 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries as the Rams pounded out 464 rushing yards on only 29 carries.
Tom Bean started crisply on offense putting together an eight-play drive during the game’s opening possession. But Rams defensive back Blake Smith ended the Tomcats’ scoring hopes when he jumped up and outwrestled a receiver to come down with the interception on the Rams 26.
It was the first of four turnovers by the Tomcats, who ended last season by allowing 74 points in a bi-district playoff loss against Rivercrest. Tom Bean suffered its worst loss since a 77-0 defeat against Howe in 2015 and these two are the only 70-point plus losses since 1937.
Five plays later, S&S running back Cole Sloan scored the first of his two touchdowns, banging over from the 1-yard line.
After a failed onside kick attempt, the Rams scored touchdowns on their next four possessions of the half to put the game out of reach.
Sloan had another short TD run for a 14-0 lead after the first quarter and McSpedden found the end zone for the first time from six yards out less than 30 seconds into the second quarter.
Reynolds scored on a four-yard run and it was 28-0 when McSpedden added a 27-yard TD scamper.
Defensively, the Rams had a goal-line stand when Tom Bean drove down to the five-yard line. S&S forcing 15 yards worth of losses in two plays before Brett Steward picked off a pass and ran it back 94 yards for an apparent touchdown, but S&S was called for an illegal block on the return.
On the next play, McSpadden ran up the middle for a 74-yard touchdown with 3:27 left in the first half as the lead increased to 35-0.
Cannen Fellegy led the Rams with 44 receiving yards and Cooper Herron caught an 11-yard touchdown pass on his lone reception with four seconds to go in the second quarter.
After taking nearly two hours to play the first half, both teams committed to the run in the second half, which was played in less than an hour.
Reynolds had the lone touchdown in the middle of the third quarter with a seven-yard run.
Brett Steward scored from three yards out with 5:45 remaining in the game before Kota Richardson broke free late in the closing minutes for S&S’s final touchdown on an 81-yard run.
Tom Bean was led by Bryce Clark, who caught five passes for 80 yards. Quarterback Ryan Weems threw for 83 yards on 7-of-17 passing and was intercepted twice. Running back Patrick Fitzgerald led the Tomcats with 27 yards on six carries as the team struggled to move the ball on the ground — finishing with 33 attempts for just 81 yards.
S&S travels to Callisburg on Friday night and Tom Bean hosts Prairiland.