Rams edge Roanoke

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 14, 2007

CREEKSVILLE – The Rams of Northampton-East battled through the rainy weather to hold off a pesky Roanoke High School team in Creeksville Friday night.  After building a 21-6 early lead, the Rams held on for a 21-18 victory moving their record to 3-2 on the year.

On the opening kick-off, East caught Roanoke off guard with a squib kick and recovered the ball at the Redskins’ 46 yard line. However, East couldn’t capitalize on the break and was forced to punt, but pinned Roanoke deep inside their own territory at the four-yard line.

After taking possession, Roanoke managed to drive out to their own 33-yard line, but the drive stalled and East blocked a punt on fourth and eight. But on second down, a fumbled snap by East was picked up by Roanoke senior Savion Hudson who rumbled 60 yards for the touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt was no good and the score stood at 6-0 in Roanoke’s favor with 5:21 remaining in the first quarter.

Late in the first quarter, East quarterback LaQuan Tann rushed 34 yards for the score and with the successful  PAT by Demar Smith, the Rams took the lead at 7-6.

On Roanoke’s first possession of the second quarter, the Rams’ defense forced a punt on fourth down. A wild snap forced the punter to field the ball with a knee on the ground and East took over at the Redskins’ 44-yard line.

With 9:18 left in the second quarter, Tann again found open field and ran 42 yards for the score. Smith’s PAT attempt was again good and the score stood at 14-6.

After forcing a punt on the ensuing possession, East put together a 40 yard drive that ended with Rashawn Mercer’s 16-yard jaunt for the score. With the good PAT, the score was 21-6 in favor of the home-standing Rams.

On the next series, Roanoke’s Alonza Higgs found Amos Perkins behind the East secondary and hooked up for a 57-yard touchdown toss as time expired in the first half. At halftime, the Rams lead 21-12.

After dodging the weather in the first half, the rain came at halftime and was steady throughout the second half. The wet conditions caused play to become sloppy on both sides of the ball.

Roanoke put together a grinding, 16 play drive on their first possession of the second half. The drive would have been interrupted by an interception by East, but the play was nullified on a roughing the passer penalty. After driving to the Ram four-yard line and looking to score, a fumbled snap by Roanoke was recovered by the Rams’ Dontay Deloatch.

After swapping punts and fumbles until late in the game, the Redskins scored with 3:10 left in the game on a 10-yard run by Higgs. The two-point attempt was no good and the score tightened to 21-18.

A late drive by Roanoke, deep in East territory ended on fourth down as time expired giving East the well deserved 21-18 victory.

Rashawn Mercer was the workhorse on the ground for East, finishing with 68 yards on 16 carries and a score. Quarterback LaQuan Tann, who suffered what appeared to be an arm and hand injury late in the game, scored twice on 10 carries good for 59 yards.

The Rams host cross-county rival Northampton-West next Friday night in Creeksville.