The Arabia Mountain Rams (1-2, 1-1) got two big plays on offense to pull out a 13-8 Region 6-4A defensive battle against the Miller Grove Wolverines (1-2, 1-1) on Friday night in the nightcap at Godfrey Stadium.
Defense was the name of the game in the first quarter as only one first down was made, and it took over six minutes to see the chains move.
The Rams broke free for the first big play of the game facing a fourth and 14 with just over 10 minutes left in the first half. Quarterback Brandon Adams threw the football to Towann Rome down the left side for a 33-yard game to the Miller Grove one. Xavier Wallace bulled into the end zone one play later to put the Rams ahead. Jaylon Lowe hit the PAT for the 7-0 lead with 9:47 left in the first half
Arabia Mountain took the 7-0 lead into halftime and the two teams opened the second half trading punts after picking up a couple of first downs.
The Rams partially blocked a punt to take over on the Miller Grove 29, but on third and 10 the Wolverines’ Stephen Bacon dropped in coverage and picked off an Adams pass to set up a 12-play, 73-yard drive by the Wolverines with 4:35 left in the period.
Miller Grove marched into Arabia Mountain territory as quarterback Phillip Russell scrambled for a pair of big first downs, including an 11-yard run on second and 10 at the Rams’ 41. Facing third and eight at the 28 he found Tajeon Fletcher over the middle for 10 yards and a fresh set of downs.
He wasted little time following up the big play with Fletcher by throwing to the left corner where Fletcher came down with both feet in bounds to pull Miller Grove within 7-6 with 9:21 to play in the game. Arabia Mountain blocked the PAT to hold on to the slim lead.
Arabia was forced to punt on its next possession when the Wolverines got a break. The snap to punter Jaylon Lowe was over his head and bounding towards the end zone with Lowe and Bacon racing for it. Lowe managed to kick it, but it was spinning slowly towards the back of the end zone.
Bacon dove for the football only to have it reach the back of end zone giving Miller Grove a safety and an 8-7 lead with 6:41 to play.
Two plays following the free kick the Rams turned the Wolverines away as Adams recovered a fumble at the Arabia 41 to put a stop to another possible score.
Adams connected with Rome on three consecutive passes of 8, 13 and 9 yards to march the Rams to the Miller Grove 24. Jaiden Figaro burst up the middle on the fourth play racing 24 yards for what would be the game-winning touchdown. The two-point run was stopped short of the goal to keep the lead at 13-8 with 3:39 to play.
The Wolverines moved into Rams’ territory and facing a fourth and two at the 47 got a false start to push them back to their own 48. Russell got flushed from the pocket and found an opening to turn up field. Arabia’s Jayden Moore had the angle and knocked Russell out of bounds three-yards short of the first down to force the ball over on downs.
Arabia Mountain was able to run over 1:19 of the 1:25 left on the clock. Miller Grove got one last play, but Russell was sacked to end the game.
Brandon Adams hit on 14 of 27 passes for 147 yards with Rome catching five for 70 yards and Malik Schell three for 69 to lead the Rams offense which only picked up 62 yards rushing against the Wolverines. Jarvis Stewart had 17 carries for 50 yards and Russell had eight carries for 38 yards while hitting on seven of 10 passes for 70 yards and a touchdown for Miller Grove.