The Harbor Springs Rams varsity football team opened the season in convincing fashion last Friday night in Manistee. With some 569 yards in total offense, the Rams overpowered Manistee Catholic Central 48-13. Coach Rob Walker said “We really want to take this win and build on it going forward. The captains have already talked to their teammates about committing to the team and doing the work that’s necessary.” Pictured above, the Rams were hard at work in practice Monday evening getting ready for the home opener Friday, Sept. 6. See full game report inside this week. (Harbor Light Newspaper photo/Charles O’Neill)
The Harbor Springs Rams varsity football opened the 2013 season with a convincing 48-13 win over Manistee Catholic Central last Friday night, Aug. 30, in Manistee.
Varsity coach Rob Walker was enthusiastic in an email report on the game shared with the Harbor Light Newspaper.
"As with all first games, as a coach, you don't really know what you have and who will exceed your expectations and at which spots," the coach wrote. "New members of the team always have to find their spot and the correct rhythm of the plays. Mental mistakes usually play a big role in these early games and penalties and turn overs will get your team beaten. Upsets are frequent in the early season and it is usually predicated on these two factors. As a coaching staff we addressed these concerns... instructing the team to play with passion and yet be poised. Let the negative events fall away and build on the positive events to help build our momentum.
"I think it worked!"
Walker reported that Manistee elected to receive the opening kick off and began with their Power - T offense. That offense, Walker said,has a lot of hard hitting dives and misdirection. He added that they have a very competent play action passing game off of their run series.
"They had some early success moving the ball but we had prepared well and our defense eventually stiffened and forced them to punt," the coach reported.
"Aaron Burdick had a phenomenal game!" Walker said.
On the very first play from scrimmage, Burdick was able to break away and scored a very long touchdown, in the range of 65 - 75 yards. Fullback/cornerback Mitch Wallin, who doubles as place kicker, added the extra point kick, to give Harbor Springs the early 7-0 lead. The Rams never looked back.
"The first quarter continued with some hiccups," Walker noted. "We did have a fumble and lost it. We did have some penalties. But each time we responded well. Maybe this year is different!"
The Rams scored again by the end of the quarter we were able to score again with Aaron Burdick on similar place to the first score.
Manistee was able to put together a scoring drive. Walker said it came on one of their play action passes.
"We continued our rushing attack in the second quarter. The yards mounted up and we scored again! With little time left in the half we took possession again. We made a good drive but couldn't punch it in from the 20 as time ran out. Score at halftime was HS 21 - MCC 7."
Then half the Stadium Lights went out, the coach reported
"Our real strength in this game was an unbelievable offensive line," Walker said. "Marihugh, Selewski, Fineout, Silveus, Lechner, Roberts and Hickman did an outstanding job! As great as our final statistics were, none of these would have been possible without their outstanding effort."
The Rams scored twice in the third quarter and once in the fourth.
"All of our players, including some JV players that I had invited to come along, were able to get in and gain some valuable experience for most of the fourth quarter," Walker noted.
Some final statistic highlights included:
Aaron Burdick 249 yards on 18 carries, three touchdowns
Logan Simkins 155 yds on 12 carries, one touchdown
Justin Roberts three catches for 65 yds, two touchdowns; four rushes for 54 yds 1 td
Mitch Wallin seven carries for 27
Jamie Kelly three carries 9 yds; one 2-pt conversion reception
Cam Simkins one carry 2 yds
Quarterback Peter Kelbel had two touchdown passes and 70-yards of total passing along with one carry for 3 yds
The Rams had 499 yds rushing, 70 yds passing for 569 total offensive yards.
"Defensively we were led by Aaron Burdick, Charlie Silveus at linebacker was fantastic, and Justin Roberts had an interception late in the game.
"Next week we have Frankfort at home. They too are well coached and have a tradition of winning. They have a very good athlete at QB....
"We really want to take this win and build on it going forward. The captains have already talked to their teammates about committing to the team and doing the work that's necessary so we can achieve another victory together, as a team!"
The Rams play at Ottawa Stadium on Friday, Sept. 6 at 7:00 pm.