Rams roll over Warriors

SYCAMORE – Standing on the field in Sycamore for the last time as a head coach, Upper Sandusky’s Jake Moyer was reminded of the first time he was there.

“I played in the very first game on this field, when it was established in 1964,” said Moyer, a Mohawk graduate who went on to coach the Warriors and is stepping away from the Rams after this season. “I was a sophomore, and I got my brains beat in for a half, and that was it for me for the year.”

Rams’ quarterback Tylor Pritchard made sure his coach’s last game here went a little better for him.

Pritchard dominated the Warriors, throwing for three touchdowns and running for three more, piling up 292 total yards in the Rams’ 48-19 win.

“We like to win this game for coach Moyer,” Pritchard said. “After the game, I told him that we had his back; before the game I told him that we had his back. You know after the game – just by the tone of his voice – that he’s happy that we won that game.”

For his part, Moyer called the experience “bittersweet.”

The Rams 3-0 record certainly isn’t.

Despite the lopsided final score, the contest looked like a close one in the first half. Mohawk stopped Pritchard on a fourth and short near midfield on the Rams’ first drive, then went right to work establishing its run game. The Warriors alternated between backs Gunnar Johnson and Eric Maskey, going 52 yards in seven running plays. Maskey polished off the possession with a 4-yard touchdown jaunt, and Mohawk led 7-0.

The Rams needed all of five plays to respond. Facing a first down from his own 43, Pritchard screened a pass in the right flat to Donald Barth, who took off down the sideline for a score. The Rams didn’t convert the extra point, but took the lead for good late in the first quarter when Pritchard hit Alex Kenner down the middle for a 36-yard TD.

A two-point run by Pritchard followed, and the Rams had a 14-7 lead.

Mohawk answered that score with another Maskey score – a 2-yard run with about seven minutes left in the half, but a missed extra point allowed Upper Sandusky to retain a 14-13 lead.

Then, Pritchard really took over.

Starting from his own 25, the quarterback led the Rams on a nine-play drive, one in which he carried the ball five times for 68 yards. His 4-yard TD put the Rams up 21-13 with 4:55 left in the half.

“We were running a read play where me and Will [Adelsperger], I read the end and I give it to him or I take it. He was going with Will, and it just gave me the opportunity to keep running the ball. We were getting blocks down the field, and that’s what it’s all about.”

Mohawk’s Grant Gucker was then intercepted by Kolin Holloway just before the half, then Mohawk fumbled away the ball on its first two possessions of the second half, both of which Pritchard turned into rushing touchdowns. The Warriors didn’t score again until late in the fourth quarter, by which time the Rams had added two more touchdowns: Pritchard and his backup, Seth Frey, each hit Ross Dible on passes to the end zone.

Mohawk’s running backs put up some big numbers, with Maskey rushing for 123 yards and three touchdowns, and Johnson running for 114 yards. But the offense stalled in the second half. Moyer credited defensive adjustments. Mohawk coach Eric Baker blamed turnovers. The Warriors had four on the day, including one more interception thrown by Gucker and hauled in by the Rams’ Cory Miller.

“They didn’t do anything we didn’t expect,” Baker said. “The big thing was, we put the ball on the deck and we threw picks. That was a momentum killer.”

The Warriors dropped to 0-3.

While Pritchard had the biggest day for the Rams, Adelsperger had a big game as well, with 102 yards on the ground.