Friday night's game against David Douglas did not come easy for Central Catholic. The Scots remained scrappy throughout the game, always staying within striking distance. Central Catholic's offense often sputtered, but the Rams turned two David Douglas turnovers into touchdowns and pulled out a 30-20 win.
'Every time we shot ourselves in the foot we fought back,' Rams coach Steve Pyne said. 'Our kids have a lot of heart. They showed it tonight. They could have folded in a couple of times.'
The Scots (1-4) did everything they could have hoped to do on their opening drive. Starting at their 20-yard-line, David Douglas marched down the field with short passes and strong running up the middle. From the 6-yard line, quarterback Cody Patterson dropped back and launched a pass into the back corner of the end zone. Marcell Frazier was in double coverage, but he out-leapt the Rams defenders and brought down the pass.
With David Douglas electing to go for two points on the conversion, Patterson hit Kyle Miller on a swing pass. Miller dove into the end zone to put the Scots up 8-0.
After the first drive, though, the David Douglas offense moved backward as often as it moved forward. One play saw the Scots facing a fourth-and-42.
Central Catholic's offense never seemed to find a rhythm in the first half. In the middle of the second quarter, the Rams drove to the 9, but on first-and-goal, they fumbled the snap and gave the ball back to the Scots.
The Scots returned the favor on the following drive, though, fumbling on their 21.
The Rams (3-2) capitalized. Hayward Demison took an inside handoff, broke the run to the outside and dove into the end zone for a 2-yard score. After the Rams failed to convert the 2-point try, David Douglas led 8-6.
'I was just coming out here with my head focused and my mind straight,' Demison said. 'Give credit to the offense, because without them I wouldn't be anything.'
Central Catholic took a 9-8 lead with 4:24 remaining in the half, when Mitch Seeley split the uprights on a 29-yard field goal.
The Rams went up 16-8 on their first possession of the second half. Central Catholic quarterback Aidan Wilder found Louis Pinder wide open down the right sideline. Wilder hit his receiver in stride, and Pinder raced 56 yards for the touchdown.
David Douglas came back with a special teams touchdown toward the end of the third quarter. After a Central Catholic drive stalled, Seeley lined up for a 40-yard field goal. The Scots penetrated the Rams line and blocked the kick. Andre Reasno picked up the ball and returned it 53 yards into the end zone. The Scots failed on the 2-point conversion and trailed 16-14.
Central Catholic made it a two-score game with 3:01 remaining in the third quarter. With the ball on its 30, Patterson was hit by Rams nose guard Adam Cannales and lost the football. Mick Hartwig picked up the ball and took it 20 yards into the end zone to put the Rams up 23-14.
'The ball just was right there,' Hartwig said. 'I was in the right place, scooped it up, got a good block, cut inside and went into the end zone."
The Rams put their final points on the board on the last play of the third quarter. Wilder threw a swing pass to Beau Duronslet, who exploded down the right sidelines for a 52-yard TD that put Central Catholic on top 30-14.
'I was just making my reads, trusting my reads and doing what I'm taught to do,' Wilder said.
After a Rams fumble, the Scots took over on the Central Catholic 23. David Douglas capped the drive when Frazier caught an 11-yard TD pass from Patterson. When the two-point conversion failed, Central Catholic led by what would be the final score of 30-20.
Pyne said he wants the Rams to spend the next week cleaning up their mistakes so that they can step onto the field as a better team next week on the road against Centennial.
'We need to go back to the film room and look at our mistakes,' Pyne said. 'Hopefully we can be better next week on both sides of the ball.'