Ralston’s Caleb O’Brien catches a touchdown pass in the second quarter against Mount Michael Friday.

The Ralston Rams were looking to start the season off right with a win over Mount Michael Benedictine, but a big fourth quarter from Mount Michael ended in a 20-12 Ralston loss.

The Rams had some key injures through out this game that forced them to go to the bench and test their depth at key positions.

“That is a credit to what we try to do here each and every day and that is next guy in” Ralston head coach Jason Fink said on how Ralston was able to keep this game close even through the injuries.

“Our guys know that and that is why we rep more than 11 guys in practice and go through and do the necessary things that we need to and we need those guys to step up and perform”.

In the first quarter, running back Rashod Madden was providing a spark on the ground for them but after a tackle, he gingerly limped to the bench and did not return. The Rams also had a couple offensive line starters who needed some help and attention on the sidelines in between offensive possessions.

Then, in the second half, starting receiver Luke Ranck, who already had four catches, went up for a ball in the end zone and came down awkwardly on his leg. Ranck did everything he could on the sideline with stretching to get back in the game but ultimately, he was unable to go back in.

Starting cornerback and back up receiver Blake Peabody also left the game after making a tackle and hurting his shoulder. He also would not return to the game.

Through all of this, the Rams took a 21-7 lead into the fourth quarter against Mount Michael. They got a gritty performance from QB/S Jahrran Paces on offense and defense and his leadership fueled them down the stretch.

”When he’s leading he is as good as they come and we are going to expect a lot out of him”, Fink said. “He led all the way through the end and he’s got a great attitude about this and he’s gonna right the ship for us this next week.”

Paces finished with a rushing touchdown and a passing touchdown to tight end Caleb O’Brien.

After a touchdown from Mount Michael to make it 13-12, The Rams turned the ball over to give it back to the Knights. They capitalized and turned the turnover into a touchdown to go up 20-12.

After the touchdown, Paces led the Rams down the field and converted a huge fourth down to keep the Rams alive, but ultimately they turned the ball over on downs on the Mount Michael 30 with 1:20 left to end the game.

The Rams will (0-1) will look to rebound when they take on South Sioux City (1-0) on Friday, September 6th.

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