MENDHAM, NJ--Backed by stellar offense, the Randolph Rams football team defeated the Mendham Minutemen by a score of 28-7 on Saturday afternoon at West Morris Mendham High School to get back on track after two consecutive heartbreaking losses.
Junior running back Matt Kuntz had another tremendous game, racking up three touchdown runs to power the Rams offense.
“I feel like our offense came together well today,” said Kuntz. “It all starts with the big men up front and they did a great job giving me holes.”
After a scoreless first quarter, the middle of the second saw a long stoppage in play of over ten minutes after a scary Minutemen injury. Randolph quarterback Justin Suarez scrambled out of the pocket and was running downfield when a Rams receiver tried to make a block for him. The big hit sent the Mendham defensive back down hard after the play. The crowd at the Mendham football field fell into a concerned silence for the entire time as trainers and EMS workers checked on the player.
This moment was impactful for some players. “The long injury break personally gave me a reality check that any play could be my last,” said Kuntz. “I think that realization came to our whole team. It’s hard seeing a player be down for so long and be hurt, but at the end of the day a game needed to played and we just came out harder after the injury timeout.”
However, junior safety, wide receiver, punter and kickoff specialist Jacob Flowers stated, “It wasn’t difficult for us because Coach Nahan always preaches ‘get your mind right’, and for the most part the only thinking we were doing besides football was hoping he was alright”.
Once play resumed, Randolph’s offense struck first on a touchdown run by Kuntz for his first score. To this point in the season, Jacob Flowers had been handling field goals and PATs. But this week, first-year head coach Mike Lyons called on senior John Rodriguez to assume this role.
Rodriguez put the kick through the uprights to give the Rams an early cushion. However, Flowers was not disappointed about not kicking today. “I was kicking because no one else was stepping up,” said Flowers. “I enjoyed doing it, but I’m happy John can take control of the position and help the team.”
The half ended 7-0 Rams, but in the third quarter, the Minutemen scored their first and only touchdown of the afternoon, to tie the game at 7-7. That only preceded three more Randolph scores in the second half, two of which were by Kuntz, and the third by senior Dominic Scali.
Kuntz’s final touchdown came in what could be known as “garbage time” in the fourth quarter to put the icing on the cake for the Rams. Meanwhile, in his first varsity game, John Rodriguez went 4-for-4 on PATs.
At the very end of the game, Randolph brought their sophomores and juniors who do not receive as much playing time into the game. Junior Anthony Sofia entered at quarterback and handed the ball off to sophomore Dylan Glincman and junior George Houston.
Once the clock hit triple zeros, the Rams were able to celebrate their third win in 2017. “It felt good to finally get back in the win column,” said Flowers . “Now we just need to build off of this and keep it rolling”.
Next week, the Randolph Rams will look to continue rolling as they take on the Columbia Cougars (0-6) at Underhill Sports Complex in Maplewood on Friday, October 20, at 7:00 p.m.