The Rams’ six-game winning streak included an undefeated run to the Ohio Heritage Conference South Division title.
“The kids really took the team,” Rams coach Ryan Haines said. “They never stopped, they just kept coming, they just kept taking coaching. And we were able to put some things together and we got healthy.”
On Saturday, the Rams were headed in the right direction from the start. An opening 80-yard drive put them up 6-0 on an 18-yard run by Rylan Hurst. The Rams kept on outrunning the Gators for 348 yards at 10.9 yards a carry. Quarterback Cole DeHaven rushed for 139 yards on 10 carries and Hurst had 99 yards on nine carries.
“We just handled the elements,” Haines said. “We talked about it all week how it was going to be wet. Our kids handled that well, and early on we had some success. We got in our own way a couple times, but we battled back and kept playing.”
As much as Mays likes ringing the bell, he loves lead blocking for DeHaven and Hurst and whoever else gets a carry. Craig Finley scored from 21 yards away, DeHaven from 40 and Carter Williams from 43.
“I love the job because I can just go out and smack someone,” Mays said. “That’s my favorite part of football is just going out and hit someone. Being a lead blocker, I can do that all the way down the field.”
Defense and special teams made just as much of an impression on the Gators. Finley returned a blocked punt 10 yards in the second quarter for a 19-0 lead. In the fourth quarter, Xander Esau recovered a Gators fumble in the end zone for the final points.
Gamble (6-3) runs a double-wing offense that didn’t fool the Rams. The Gators netted only 56 yards, faced lots of long third-down situations and fumbled seven times. The only one they lost was the touchdown.
“When kids play both sides of the ball, they feed off each other,” Haines said. “They’re playing good defense and good offense, and that’s all I can ask of them in Week 11.”