Kyle Short

“Short” end of the straw for Ram senior

January 10, 2013 // 0 Comments

By Randy Gregory   Kyle Short was poised for a big year in his senior campaign at Rockford High School. Having already competed at the varsity level for two years in both football and basketball, this was his turn to take the reins as the quarterback for the football team and as an all around specialist on the basketball court. The fall started ever so promisingly as glowing reports emerged from his performances at various camps over the summer. Blessed with unusual speed and a solid arm the senior was ready to leave his mark on the gridiron at the quarterback position after an excellent junior season as a safety. Just before the preseason scrimmage came the disappointing news that Short had suffered a stress fracture in his foot and would miss a few games at a minimum. Sure enough, he was forced to sit out the first two contests before making a cameo appearance in the Muskegon contest. He was forced to miss portions of several other contests but it was obvious he wasn’t anywhere near 100%. But Short was one of the driving forces that willed the team to yet another semifinal appearance despite the limitations the injury forced upon him. “It really limited the things we wanted to do with our offense when Kyle got injured,” said Rockford football coach Ralph Munger. “He just toughed it out but I don’t think people got to really see just how good of a quarterback he is.” As the basketball season dawned there was some hope that with the little downtime between the seasons Short would be able to display the prowess on the court that he was deprived of during the football season. But when the opener dawned Short was once again relegated to the sidelines. Finally a brief ray of sunlight emerged as Short finally suited up for the L’Anse Creuse contest. But it was readily apparent that he was still ailing despite his best efforts to put on a brave face. He tried again in the Detroit Loyola game but again struggled with the physical limitations imposed by his injury. This week at the Cornerstone tourney I spied a figure on crutches on the Rockford bench with a boot on. It was […]

Muskegon tops Rams with series of big plays 21-9

September 13, 2012 // 0 Comments

by RANDY GREGORY Rockford and Muskegon met on Friday, Sept. 7 at Ted Carlson Memorial Stadium in Rockford in an annual gridiron battle that has produced more than its share of thrilling contests. The game began in a deluge that featured torrential rain and blustery wind over the entirety of the first half. It concluded in more than favorable conditions in the second half as the rain ceased and the wind diminished to a large extent. When it was over, it was the Big Reds’ turn to celebrate as they topped Rockford 21-9 in a non-league contest. The Rams now stand at 1-2 on the young season and will conclude the out-of-conference portion of their schedule with a trip to Jenison on Friday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. The game began with the return of starting Rockford quarterback Kyle Short and senior captain and safety KC Zenner. Both had missed the first two contests of the year and their return was timely with the unbeaten Big Reds up next on the docket. But Short battled difficult weather conditions and an injured ankle in the opening half before departing just before the halftime horn due to that injury. Zenner toughed his way through most of the game but was also clearly hobbled in his return from a knee injury. “Kyle really tried to talk his way back into the game,” said Rockford coach Ralph Munger. “But we have to think of the rest of the season and he was clearly limping out there in the second quarter tonight. He is a tough kid and you really have to feel sorry for him with this popping up in his senior season. Kyle brings a certain skill set to the table and we tried to play to that, but he just wasn’t able to do the things we wanted to do due to his being hurt. He took a step back with the injury and now we just have to find ways to do things consistently with who we have available until he can return.” Muskegon received the opening kickoff and took only three plays to score on a 49-yard counter to the left side that came with 10:21 to play in the opening quarter. The point after […]

Rams hold on in regional football final

November 17, 2011 // 0 Comments

Rockford advances to face Detroit Catholic Central in semifinals  by TIM COOPER The goal for Coach Ralph Munger and his Rams in the regional final game was not necessarily to stop the high-powered Grand Blanc Bobcats’ offense. Grand Blanc, in the first two games of the playoffs, had run up 108 points, more than any other team in Division I. Munger gave high praise to the Grand Blanc squad, saying, “They’re the most talented team in the state.” Early in the first quarter, it appeared the Rams were going to do more than slow Grand Blanc. On the second play from scrimmage, Kyle Short intercepted a pass from quarterback Bart Williams, returning it to the Bobcat 15-yard line. Connor Darby powered into the end zone from four yards out three plays later. On Grand Blanc’s second possession, it appeared as if the Rams were going to continue to stop the Bobcats, as Rockford forced Grand Blanc to kick the ball away. KC Zenner returned the punt to the Bobcat 47, where the Ram offense took command. They advanced to the 24-yard line before being stalled by the Grand Blanc defense, where Steve Mette was called upon to kick the first of three field goals. Mette connected from 42 yards, 32 yards, and 45 yards. With the Rams leading 10-0, the Bobcats showed they wouldn’t be stopped, but rather they could only be slowed down. Grand Blanc moved the ball to the Rockford 7-yard line, where they were faced with a third-and-goal situation. A pass interference call against the Rams gave the Bobcats a fresh set of downs inside the 5-yard line. Williams completed the drive when he found Tearon Jameson, bringing the Bobcats within three points. After Mette knocked in his second and third field goals to give Rockford a nine-point lead, Grand Blanc appeared to have reversed the tides. They moved the ball 61 yards before giving up an interception in the end zone to Chubbs Johnson. The Rockford offensive line took control of the game, opening large holes and allowing the Ram running backs to chew up the field. With time running out in the first half, quarterback Mark LaPrairie found receiver Brandon Lubenow in the corner of the end zone from 13 […]

Rams halt Buccaneers

September 15, 2011 // 0 Comments

by TIM COOPER and MATT WEAVER Good things don’t always come in small packages. As running back Brady Gent was about to score his fourth touchdown to cap off a brilliant night, no one expected to see the ball pop out of his sure hands. Even more unexpected was big offensive lineman Ivy Johnson falling on it in the end zone. Johnson had a swarm of Rockford students gather around him after the win over the Grand Haven Buccaneers on Friday, Sept. 9 on home turf. “It feels great,” Johnson said. “I’ve been a lineman my entire life. This is a dream come true.” The fumble by Gent was a minor hiccup in a tremendous performance for the senior. Gent had three touchdowns and 163 yards on the night. Coach Ralph Munger said of Gent, “ He’s running hard. He had a great night. He seems to get better with each night, just as a number of our guys are.” The Rams were truly dominant from the start, as KC Zenner returned a punt 75 yards for a Rockford touchdown just 3:59 into the game. Ryan Hartnagel returned a block punt 1:40 later for a second Ram touchdown, giving Rockford a 14-0 early in the game. Grand Haven tried to bounce back, scoring exactly one minute later on a Dakota Smith touchdown. After a Rockford three-and-out, the Buccaneers capitalized, bringing themselves to within four points after a field goal with 3:14 left in the first. The two teams then traded possessions for the following eight minutes, until Gent ran 36 yards for the first of his three touchdowns, making the score 21-10. The score went unchanged until the 4:37 mark in the third quarter, when the Buccaneers again went to Smith, this time on a 21-yard pass from quarterback Scott Staal. A failed two-point conversion left the score at 21-16. The Rams again answered right back, scoring on an eight-play, 2:44 second drive that ended with a 14-yard run by Gent. Rockford’s successful two-pointer made the score 29-16. Gent’s third touchdown came on Rockford’s next possession, when he pounded the ball into the end zone from the 1-yard line. An incomplete pass on the two-point conversion attempt failed, leaving Rockford with a 19-point lead. Grand […]

Rockford bursts past Holt, wins football battle of the Rams

September 8, 2011 // 0 Comments

by TIM COOPER Not since 2002 had the Rockford Rams lost two games in a row. Rockford hadn’t gone 0-2 to start a season since 1978. Only four times since 1950 have they dropped the first two games of the year. After a week one loss to Lowell, and the perennial state power Holt Rams coming to town, it appeared avoiding that fate would be a daunting task. In the previous five games, Rockford had gone 3-2 against Holt, defeating Holt 27-24 last year in a tremendous come-from-behind effort. With the opening kickoff, Rockford’s special teams took control of the game. Using their “starburst” kick return, Brandon Lubenow raced 96 yards for the first score of the game. On the ensuing kickoff, a Holt fumble returned the ball to Rockford on the 11-yard line. One play later, Ryan Hartley broke through the Holt defense for a touchdown, giving Rockford a 14-0 lead just 26 seconds into the game. After a Holt punt, Rockford drove 50 yards on eight plays, capped off by Connor Darby’s 5-yard run, making the score 21-0. Holt’s bright spot in the first half came when Rockford fumbled a punt reception at their own 49-yard line. The visitors finished the drive early in the second quarter with a 3-yard touchdown run by quarterback Justin Alleman. For much of the second quarter, the two teams exchanged drives with each other, until Rockford quarterback Kyle Short found Lubenow open in the end zone to extend the lead by seven. The score remained 28-7 as the two teams headed into the locker rooms for halftime. The second half opened with an 80-yard Holt drive that ended when Rockford’s KC Zenner recovered a fumble in the end zone to out the ball back in Short’s hands. When Rockford was forced to punt on the following drive, kicker Steve Mette’s punt pinned Holt deep into their own territory. After Holt drove to midfield, Dylan Rodriguez recovered a fumble to give the ball back to Rockford’s offense. Darby, who had 29- and 11-yard runs in the following series, also finished the drive by taking the ball five yards for a touchdown. Mette’s extra point made the score 35-7. Rockford’s final score of the evening came when running back […]

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