Rockford Rams Varsity Football

Big Reds come to ‘The Ted’ on Friday

September 6, 2012 // 0 Comments

by RANDY GREGORY After last year, one could have been deemed reasonable to think that maybe, just maybe Muskegon may have been headed for a minor rebuilding project in 2012 following heavy graduation losses at the skill positions. But nothing could be further from the truth for this year’s version of Big Red football. Some odd circumstances instead delivered a whole new talent pool to a program laden with accomplishment after accomplishment over the last 100-plus years. The school with the most wins in the history of high school football in the state of Michigan will instead bring to the table what they have always brought: a team with great speed, size and power that is off to a 2-0 start after facing a pair of highly rated squads from Michigan and Ohio. Normally when a player transfers from one high school to another without moving, the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) dictates that athlete must sit out the following semester at his new school. But with the decision of the Muskegon Heights district to go to a charter school system, that allowed a talented pool of athletes to go to another district with no restrictions. The talent influx has been noticeable and the Big Reds haven’t skipped a beat. Muskegon kicked off the year by downing last year’s MHSAA Division III state champs from Orchard Lake St. Mary’s by a score of 21-14. They followed that up by journeying to the Toledo, Ohio area to square off with a Sylvania Southview crew that features five Division I players. This time it was a slugfest, but the Big Reds scored late and held on for a 40-37 triumph. “I got to see their first game and all I can say is wow,” said Rockford coach Ralph Munger. “They are an incredibly athletic team that does everything at a fast pace. They are going to be an incredible challenge to prepare for because we just can’t duplicate that type of speed in practice.” Rockford and Muskegon met for the first time in 1996 and have met eight times total over the last 16 years. Rockford holds a 5-3 edge in a series of games that have featured one thriller after another. NFL films even did […]

Rams lose football opener to Lowell

September 1, 2011 // 0 Comments

Injuries hamper team’s efforts  by JIM COOPER and MATT WEAVER The last time the Rockford Rams and the Lowell Red Arrows met on the gridiron, it was November 9, 1973. The country was being rocked by the Watergate scandal. Memories of the Vietnam War were fresh in the nation’s minds. The number one song in America was Eddie Kendricks’ “Keep On Truckin’.” High school football was still decades from being the phenomenon we know today. Rockford and Lowell combined for a total of just 105 wins in the previous 10 years. Flash forward to August 25, 2011, and you have a game that was touted as the top opening game in Michigan. The two schools have now won over 200 games in the last decade, with three state titles apiece in the same span. Fans from both sides had been clamoring for this game and, finally, after 38 years, the two teams collided once more. Emotions were high at Bob Perry Field in Lowell as the two teams took the field. After deferring the opening kickoff, the Rams were successful in containing the Red Arrow’s explosive dual-threat quarterback Gabe Dean on the opening possession of the game. However, a Lowell fumble recovery on Rockford’s first play from scrimmage put the ball back in the hands of the elite player. Three plays later, Dean ran for 20 yards to the end zone, with the extra point putting the Red Arrows up 7-0. Three-and-a-half minutes later, Dean made the Rams pay for a second lost fumble, allowing Lowell to take a 14-0 lead within the first eight minutes of the game. After the two teams swapped possessions for the remainder of the first quarter and the first six minutes of the second, Dean struck again, this time with a 26-yard touchdown pass. Trailing by 21, Rockford’s Connor Darby managed to break loose on the ensuing kickoff, taking the ball into the Red Arrows’ end zone. However, the play was called back due to an illegal handoff on the Rams’ tried and true starburst kickoff return formation. The following drive ended with Rockford’s Mark LaPrairie hobbling off the field with help from the trainer. The senior quarterback suffered a dislocated toe that kept him out of action for […]

Rockford Rams begin drive to Ford Field

November 4, 2010 // 0 Comments

Rockford takes on Traverse City West in pre-districts  by TIM COOPER  On Friday, Oct. 29, 256 teams throughout the state, divided into eight divisions, began the run to the state championship, which will be held at Ford Field in Detroit on Thanksgiving weekend. This year’s playoff opener marked the fifth time the Rockford Rams and the Traverse City West Titans have met, with Rockford having won each of the previous four games. Behind the strong running of Zach Schmuck, Rockford jumped out to a 7-0 lead. Schmuck’s one-yard plunge into the end zone capped off a nine-play, 52-yard drive. It was the first of three touchdowns Schmuck scored in the first quarter. Two plays later and 23 seconds later, Schmuck scored again. Schmuck’s second touchdown was set up by the first of KC Zenner’s two interceptions. Zenner returned the interception 15 yards to the Titan 13. On the following play, Schmuck carried the ball into the end zone to give Rockford a 14-0 lead. After the Ram defense forced Traverse City West to punt, Rockford took possession of the ball again, mounting an eight-play drive that was finished by Scmuck’s third touchdown with 28 seconds remaining in the first quarter. The Rams went into the locker rooms with a 28-0 lead at halftime after Kyle Short threw an 11-yard pass to Aaron Weston with 29 seconds left in the second quarter. Early in the third quarter, Traverse City West saw a ray of hope as they stopped the Rams in the first possession of the half. The Titan offense followed up their defense’s effort by driving 86 yards into the Rockford end zone to narrow the score by seven. West’s efforts were stifled, however, as the Ram defense, continuing to hit hard, stopped the Titans on a critical fourth-down-and-one-yard-to-go situation with 2:54 left in the third. Rockford’s offense brought the lead back to 28 as Kyle Short threw his second touchdown pass, this time to Matt Boonstra. Traverse City West scored one more touchdown in the fourth, to make the final score 35-14. Following the game, Coach Ralph Munger said of his Rams, “Our boys came out ready to play, scoring on our first three possessions, but then I think our kids let up some […]