Rockford High School Football Team

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 […]

Ram footballers participate in varied 7-on-7 contests

July 19, 2012 // 0 Comments

by RANDY GREGORY High school football teams across the country place highly divergent views on the importance of seven-on-seven passing competitions and the role they play in the success of the upcoming season. Many coaches stretch the rule to the limit and take full advantage of every opportunity that presents itself. Nike, Adidas and other sports-related firms have even gotten to the point of offering national events with players from across the country playing on teams comprised of several different schools’ players. A multitude of players who may have spent previous summers playing baseball, taking family vacations or just relaxing now find football to be a near year-round activity. Consider Rockford Coach Ralph Munger to be one of the coaches who place a higher value on letting kids be kids and getting something of a break from the potential monotony of so much football. “We really want the kids to be able to get a break from time to time,” said Munger. “The state of Michigan is one of the more restrictive states when it comes to how many of these events you can participate in, and we don’t even take full advantage of that. We ask so much of our players and coaches when the season begins and I think it is important for all of them to have some time to recharge their batteries and join with their families in doing other things.” This summer the Rams will have competed with Kenowa Hills and Forest Hills Eastern in one seven-on-seven, Greenville in another, and Belding, Wayland and Byron Center in a third event. There is the opportunity to ply their wares against Shelby and Ottawa Hills in another seven-on-seven, but Munger isn’t even sure that Rockford will take advantage of that. “We have had a fair share of success doing things this way for a long time now,” said Munger. “I think the benefit of how we do things has a far greater impact on the mental well-being of our kids as opposed to bringing them to one event after another. I think everyone knows that once the practices start, we are all football, but it can be a difficult task for 16- to 18-year-old young men to maintain that mental toughness necessary […]

Rams football falls to Detroit Catholic Central

November 24, 2011 // 0 Comments

Shamrocks too much in semifinals  by TIM COOPER and MATT WEAVER Things looked good early for the Rockford Rams football team on Saturday, Nov. 19, as Brandon Lubenow returned the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown. Then a Steven Mette field goal on the Rams’ second possession put them up by 10. Then things began to change. An uncharacteristic pass interception by Mark LaPrairie gave Detroit Catholic Central the ball on the Rockford 23-yard line. Four plays later, the Shamrock quarterback Kyle Cooper found Mark Doneth in the end zone, making the score 10-7. The Rams’ next drive went 69 yards, ending with a 14-yard LaPrairie-to-Lubenow pass, again putting Rockford up by 10. Midway through the drive, running backs Connor Darby and Ryan Hartley came off the field due to injury, forcing Coach Ralph Munger to rely on his reserves. Detroit Catholic Central used a pair of halfback passes on their next drive, the second a 21-yard strike which placed the ball at the Rockford 2-yard line. The Shamrocks pulled back to within three on the following play, when fullback David Houle dove through the Ram defense for a touchdown. A 45-yard pass to Lubenow gave the Rams one final scoring opportunity before the end of the half. With seven seconds remaining, LaPrairie found Justin Wustman open in the middle of the field. Wustman’s second effort fell short at the Shamrock 1-yard line as time expired. The second half started with Detroit Catholic Central using their strong running game to take control of the clock. The only points in the second half came on a 27-yard field goal by Shamrock Alex Kozlowski, which tied the score at 17. It appeared the Shamrocks had everything going their way late in the fourth quarter, as they drove the ball to the Ram 3-yard line. With 30 seconds remaining, Kozlowski set up for the game-winning field goal. The kick was blocked by the interior of the Ram defensive front, sending the game into overtime. Detroit Catholic Central, having won the coin toss, chose to play defense. Rockford, having failed to advance the ball 10 yards to score, settled for a 26-yard Mette field goal and a 20-17. On the Shamrocks’ second play, Houle caught a pass from […]

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 […]

Rockford defeats Bulldogs, finishes regular season undefeated

October 29, 2009 // 0 Comments

    Nick Smythe scores for the Rams. Photo by TONY ANDERSON by TONY ANDERSON The Rockford Rams traveled to Grandville on Friday, Oct. 23, with the hopes of finishing the regular season undefeated. The Bulldogs won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. The Rams started on their 20-yard line. Rockford started off with their potent ground game, but after picking up one first down were forced to punt. The punt into a stiff wind traveled to the Grandville 33-yard line. The Bulldogs picked up a first down before scoring on a 52-yard touchdown run. Rockford’s second possession started on the 20-yard line, and though picking up two first downs, they were forced into a 47-yard field goal attempt by Paul Mudgett. The kick—again into a stiff breeze—was no good. Grandville started on their 20-yard line, and seemed to have a drive mounted, picking up three first downs, one of which was aided by a very questionable defensive holding penalty. But the Rams forced a fumble that was recovered by Ben Braden. Rockford started on the 42-yard line, and mixed run and pass plays, picking up three first downs before the end of first quarter, with the score Grandville 7 and Rockford 0. The second quarter opened with the Rams having first and 10 on the Bulldog 21-yard line. On the second play of the second quarter, Taylor Masiewicz contacted with Joey Johnson for a 20-yard touchdown pass, with Mudgett adding the point after. The Bulldogs started on the 20-yard line and picked up one first down before scoring on a 67-yard touchdown run. Rockford started their next possession on the 33-yard line. The Rams drove down the field, though forced into a fourth-down play. A fourth-and-one was picked up by Nick Smythe soon after Tyler Pratt rumbled 5 yards for a Rockford touchdown, and Mudgett added the point after. Grandville once again started on their 20-yard line and the Rams forced a punt, but were called offside, giving the Bulldogs a fresh set of downs. The Rockford defense stood tall and once again forced a punt after three plays. Rockford took possession on the 41-yard line and went to the air, picking up two first downs. During the drive, the Rockford […]