Sunday, November 25, 2007
Rams just perfect while bullying Badgers
class 1a football championship
Rams just perfect while bullying Badgers
AKRON 46, LIMON 14
By Neil H. Devlin
The Denver Post
Article Last Updated: 11/24/2007 10:55:39 PM MST
AKRON — In capping a dominant season with an exclamation point, it was as if the Akron Rams had no choice.
They thoroughly thrashed the visiting Limon Badgers 46-14 on Saturday for their fourth title under coach Brian Christensen in the style to which they had grown accustomed throughout the 2007 season.
"The kids fit the definition of a team, and this is a very good team," said Christensen, ordinarily a modest assessor of his program as well as a Rams champion as a schoolboy, in 1985. "The stats speak for themselves. They were tremendous on defense all year long."
It's possible this is one of the better 1A outfits of the era.
In winning its 26th consecutive game, Akron won its second championship in a row with a 13-0 record, outscored its season-long opposition by an outrageous
aggregate of 535-52 and had little problem with 1A's other power of this era and others. Even with the loss, Limon (11-2), which has won a Colorado-record 17 championships, has been victorious in 61 of its past 64 games. The Badgers' only other setbacks occurred in last season's semifinals (it snapped the Badgers' 50-game victory streak, another state record) and by forfeit in the season opener because of use of an ineligible player.
After a 14-10 victory over 2A Yuma to begin the season, no other team came within 13 points of the Rams, who also waxed four postseason foes by a combined 186-29.
"That's a good football team," said Badgers coach Mike O'Dwyer, whose team probably surprised with another finals showing despite lower enrollment numbers. "No doubt about it. They're very physical, and we had some opportunities there and they took them away with physical play."
Akron was on its game at the outset. The Rams dropped Limon quarterback Matt Brown for a 9-yard loss on the first play, forced five consecutive punts, scored on their first play from scrimmage on a 9-yard run by Joe McKay and cruised to a 34-0 halftime lead.
Outstanding defense — Limon finished with 1 yard rushing — featuring McKay, Chris Gebauer, Mick Strand and Duncan Krause kept the Badgers heading uphill. Their only signs of life came in the third quarter, when Brown found Marcelis Tatum for a touchdown, but Krause intercepted Brown on the Badgers' next series and there was more of the same — sticky, pounding defense by Akron as well as the Rams' single-wing attack that rolled to 366 yards rushing, 470 in total offense.
Said McKay: "It's just a bunch of guys out there playing for each other; that's about it."
Simple, but thorough.
It was the two programs' third title match in five seasons — Limon won in 2003 and 2005 — although Akron has taken the current lead over the classification.
"It has been a neat experience," said Christensen, whose career coaching mark improved to 125-22 and had his former prep coach, Carl Rice, on his staff. "These kids deserve it."
Akron senior running back-safety Joe McKay was active during Saturday's 46-14 championship victory over Limon. He rushed for 122 yards and the game's first touchdown, caught a 28-yard scoring pass and authoritatively patrolled the secondary that bothered the Badgers all day.
Limon 0 0 7 7 — 14
Akron 14 20 6 6 — 46
A — McKay 9 run (McKay kick). A — Jefferson 1 run (McKay kick). A — Jefferson 9 run (McKay kick). A — Mc- Kay 27 pass from Ja. Reid (McKay kick). A — Jefferson 1 run (kick failed). L — Tatum 1 pass from Brown (Cordova kick). A — Ja. Reid 1 run (kick blocked). A — Vasquez 44 run (kick failed). L — Stone 26 pass from Brown (Cordova kick).
First downs 8 18
Rushes-yds. 19-1 48-366
Passing 14-34-219-1 7-8-104-0
Fumbles-lost 0-0 2-0
Punts-avg. 7-32.4 4-24.5
Penalties-yds. 6-50 8-62
Rushing — Limon, Ashcraft 3-9, Stone 2-7, Brown 8-3, Scherrer 6-(-18); Akron, McKay 12-122, Jefferson 13-84, Ja. Reid 9-71, Vasquez 4-65, Woods 6-27, Friedly 1-2, Guy 1-1, Anderson 1-0, Merrill 1-0.
Passing — Limon, Brown 14-34-219; Akron, Ja. Reid 6-7- 79, Jefferson 1-1-25.
Receiving — Limon, Stone 7-106, Pottorf 4-64, Layton 1-45, Scherrer 1-3, Tatum 1-1; Akron, Krause 2-39, McKay 1-27, Jo. Reid 1-20, Wiseman 1-10, Monasmith 1-0.
Neil H. Devlin: 303-954-1714 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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