RANDOLPH, NJ- After starting the season 3-0, with three emotional victories, The Randolph Rams football team hit a speed bump in a 21 - 14 loss to West Morris on Thursday, October 2.
Special teams and defense had a good night, giving the Rams plenty of chances to put points on the board throughout the game. But the offense, which was clicking on all cylinders the last two weeks against Morristown and Mendham, couldn't quite get the big plays they needed to turn the game in their favor.
In the first quarter, Junior Marcus Ferrara recovered a muffed Wolfpack punt, as special teams gave Randolph possession, and a chance to strike first.
After moving into scoring position in the red zone, an interception by West Morris returned the ball back to midfield for the Wolfpack. West Morris ultimately took the lead on the 1 yard TD run
Special-teams struck again on the ensuing kickoff, as James Bertelle answered right back when he fielded the kick and took it to the house to tie the game at 7-7.
West Morris took charge of the game in the second quarter with a 2 yard TD run, followed by an impressive 54 yard touchdown run to make the score 21 – 7 at the half.
In the second half, the defense kept Randolph in the game by completely shutting West Morris down. The Wolfpacks first possession was a three and out, and the Rams offense drove into scoring territory. Two Wolfpack sacks then stalled Randolph, and they turned the ball over on downs at the 10 yard line.
The Rams struggled to throw the ball all night, so they brought the ends in tight and pounded the ball up the middle with Zarro and Bertelle. This lead to a slow methodical drive to open the fourth, taking the ball down to the 1 yard line.
The key play on the drive came on third and long, when QB Connor Logoyda hit Ben Kapinos for a first down at the two yard line. Kapinos made a nice grab between two defenders to make it first and goal at the two. Two plays later, Logoyda dove over the pile for 1 yard TD run to close the gap to 21-14 with 8:24 left in the game.
Randolph had two more golden chances to tie it up courtesy of the defense and special teams. First, a Bertelle interception gave them the ball at mid field. After missing that opportunity by going three and out, the defense stopped the Wolfpack again.
West Morris tried a fake punt from their own 35 yard line, and a heads up special teams made the stop giving the Rams one more golden opportunity. But tonight it was not to be, as the offense couldn’t capitalize again, giving the ball back on downs. West Morris then ran out the clock for a 21-14 win.
Randolph plays next at Delbarton on Saturday October 11 at 2:30