Last second field goal give Rams the win

Rockford comes from behind in Battle of the Rams


On Thursday, September 2, the Rockford Rams made the one-hour trip down I-96 to play the Holt Rams. Rockford would fall behind early to one of the better teams in the Lansing area, trailing 14-0 before the first quarter ended. Rockford’s defense would be tested all night as their offense would struggle to come from behind.

Nate Sanders breaks through the line to allow Rockford to tie the game at 24. photo by JIM COOPER

“I wasn’t really in the best of moods when that happened, but it was early,” said coach Ralph Munger. “We had a lot of time left on the clock. The bottom line is, you have to keep slugging it out. You have to get back into the game.”

With 5:18 remaining in the first quarter, Rockford’s offense began to rise to the task. Using a potent ground attack, Rockford completed a 53 yard drive on the first play of the second quarter when Zach Schmuck dove into the end zone for Rockford’s first points of the night.

Rockford held Holt to three points in the second quarter, giving Holt a 17-7 lead, after a 37 yard field goal from Holt’s Evan Fischer. Using a smash mouth style of football, Coach Munger’s Rams again cut into the Holt lead when Connor Darby crashed through the line for six yards and a touchdown with 32 seconds remaining in the half, bringing Rockford within three.

A Holt fumble with time running out gave Rockford’s Steve Mette the chance to complete the comeback. Mette’s kick was good, barely crossing the uprights after being tipped by Holt’s defensive line. With the score tied at 17, Holt again pulled ahead with their opening drive when Curtis Nick crossed into the end zone for his third touchdown of the night early in the second half. After trading possessions with Holt, the big Rockford line smashed their way down field, allowing Mette to tie the score after a Nate Sanders touchdown with 2:20 left in the third quarter.

Shain Showers runs his late interception back 27 yards. photo by JIM COOPER

Rockford’s defense then created three turnovers, allowing the offense to wear Holt’s defense down. The final turnover came with 1:07 remaining in the game, when Shain Showers picked off a pass from backup quarterback Jake Bozzo. Six plays later, Munger’s Rams found themselves at the Holt 2 yard line with 6.3 seconds remaining. Coach Munger would turn the game over to the foot of Steve Mette, whose kick sailed through the uprights from 20 yards, giving Rockford their first lead of the night, and the victory.

Following the game, Coach Munger said, “We had to look deep to find a way to match up with them defensively, until our offense decided to play. We executed enough things well to pull this one out. I can’t stress enough that Holt is a quality program.”

The Rams were led offensively by Zach Schmuch, who gained 159 yards on 17 carries, and had one touchdown. On the defensive side of the ball, captain Brett Egnatuk led all tacklers, with a total of 15, followed by Tyler Pratt, who had 11.

Rockford returns to Ted Carlson Memorial stadium on Friday, September 10 to face the Jenison Wildcats.

Adam Kroll wrestles Holt running back Kyle Bort to the ground photo by JIM COOPER


Sanders tries to elude the Holt defense. photo by JIM COOPER


Rockford's defense teams up to stop Holt's Curtis Nick. photo by JIM COOPER


Coach Munger's Rams show off his special Starburst kickoff return. photo by JIM COOPER


Steve Mette scores the winning field goal only a second to spare. photo by JIM COOPER
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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.