Rams blank Blooming Grove to move on
MABANK — Back by a strong defensive effort and the dual-threat ability of Jake Reynolds, the S&S Rams earned their first playoff victory since 2014 with a 20-0 win over Blooming Grove in a Class 3A Division II Region II bi-district contest.
It was also the first time the Rams (6-4) shut out a playoff opponent. S&S will face Holliday in the area round at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Bowie.
Reynolds rushed for 171 yards and a two touchdowns on 34 carries and also completed 8-of-15 passes for 110 yards while Suzanna Griffin kicked a pair of field goals, Blake Smith totaled 46 yards on two catches, Cooper Herron had four catches for 29 yards and Colby McSpedden chipped in 15 carries for 44 yards to pace the Rams.
Jalen Coleman led Blooming Grove (7-4) with 45 yards on 12 carries and caught a pair of passes for 35 yards. The Lions struggled to put anything together, totaling 87 yards on 27 rushes and Timmy Hamilton and Kelton Bell combined to complete 6-of-17 passes for 54 yards and an interception.
The opening minutes of the game saw good defensive play from both teams. The Rams fumbled on their opening possession and the Lions recovered at their own 44-yard line. However, S&S forced a three-and-out.
The teams then traded punts and when Blooming Grove did so from their end, Nathanael Raney blocked the kick and Jeffrey Janway recovered it. Four consecutive rushed by Reynolds moved the ball to the five-yard line and from there he called his own number again and scored on a run up the middle for the touchdown with 3:57 remaining in the first quarter.
The Rams’ next scoring drive started early in the second quarter and used up almost seven minutes. S&S started at its 39-yard line the Rams and advanced to the Lions 21 before three McSpedden runs put the ball to the 10.
Reynolds finished off that drive with a short touchdown run and it was 14-0 S&S with 5:54 left in the quarter and S&S maintained that lead at the break.
The Rams scored with 7:29 remaining in the third on a 37-yard field goal by Griffin. That score was set up after Brett Steward picked off a Hamilton pass at the Lion 35-yard line.
The Lions were unable to handle the ensuing kickoff and the squib kick wound up being recovered by the Rams at the Blooming Grove 26. The Lions held but Griffin tacked on another field goal, this time from 36 yards for the 20-0 lead with 6:12 left in the third quarter.
S&S made the shutout stand up over the final quarter and a half as Blooming Grove never really threatened the three-score lead.
Class 3A Division II Region II
Blooming Grove 0