Blum Leads Comeback as Rams Defeat Jackets in Thriller

Nick Stavas's picture

    The Glenwood Rams walked away from Gale Wickersham Stadium tattered, worn out, but victorious nonetheless. After a shaky start, and a 14-0 deficit at halftime, the Rams decided they had had enough of the Thomas Jefferson Yellow Jackets. With the help of a few Jacket miscues, the Rams hung 24 unanswered points in the second half and avoided the upset with a 24-14 victory over TJ to remain undefeated on the season.

    The Rams had their fair share of mistakes in the first half, including a shanked punt that gave Thomas Jefferson great field position on their first possession of the game. It wasn’t long before Jacket quarterback Colton Kinney found superstar running back Cameron Baker on a bootleg pass for a nine yard touchdown, putting TJ up 8-0 in the first quarter.

    After a few stalled drives, the Jackets capitalized on another Ram mishap, when Baker took a Glenwood fumble to the house for a 67 yard touchdown return, making the score 14-0 headed into halftime.

    Glenwood Head Coach Cory Faust blamed multiple things for his team’s shaky first half. That included their lack of speed to the line, and an unorthodox TJ offense that the Rams had hard time adjusting to in the first half.

    Senior quarterback Andrew Blum, who ended up being the player of the game, commented on Glenwood’s slow start.

    “It seemed like we just tried to do too much, they were throwing a bunch of stuff at us, and the guys didn’t really seem to be confident firing off the ball,” said Blum.

    Halftime adjustments were inevitable if the Rams wanted to come out on top. “We went into the locker room, and we were like ‘we just need to go back to what we know,’” said Blum.

    And that’s exactly what they did. After stumbling out of the gate, the Rams found their groove late in the third quarter when they started lining up in their normal flexbone offense after running most of the night out of the shotgun. This allowed their experienced offensive line to thrive, and the Rams finally reached the endzone for the first time when junior halfback Noah Carter scored from a yard out. A two point conversion made the score 14-8 in favor of the Jackets.

    A couple more turnovers from both teams left the score the same as they headed into the fourth. Junior Cooper Silvius capped off a Glenwood drive full of big plays, scoring on an impressive run from 20 yards out and tying the game at 14 apiece. Blum took it in himself on the 2 point conversion, giving the Rams their first lead of the night.

    It wasn’t long before Glenwood got the ball back. After TJ drove the ball inside Ram territory, sophomore corner Zach Carr recovered a fumble to give the Rams the ball at their own 36 yard line. Glenwood seemingly walked down the field, and with just 1:30 to go in the game, Blum slammed the door with a three yard touchdown run, followed by a 2 point conversion.

    Faust knew where he wanted the ball late in the game, and that was in the hands of his playmaking quarterback. That said, he seemed more impressed with Blum’s leadership when the Rams faced adversity rather than his performance in the game.

    “He’s a good leader, and I thought his poise on the sideline was really important to the team,” sad Faust. “A lot of people would panic or get super frustrated, and start freaking out in a situation like that, when things aren’t going very well, but I thought he did a really good job setting the tone for us.”

    Blum ended the night with 143 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. He also completed 5 of 16 passes for 66 yards. While it may not have been a dream night statistically, anyone who watched the game would know that he was fantastic down the stretch when his team needed him the most. However, a humble Blum was quick to credit his offensive line for the success he had.

    “My line does a heck of a job blocking, there’s no doubt about that,” said Blum. “I’m confident they’ll block for me, and I just find the hole.”

    Blum wasn’t the only one that had a good night for the Rams. Carter had 73 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries, and Silvius rushed for 20 yards and a touchdown on three carries.

    On defense, Glenwood was up and down, but made the stops when it mattered. A slow, methodical TJ offense proved tough to stop for the Rams in the first half, but once they adjusted, they were able to hold the Jackets scoreless through the entire second half.

    Headed into district play next week, Faust believes that this game could have its benefits as the Rams approach the brunt of their schedule.

    “We definitely have a lot to work on, but I thought this game was good for us,” said Faust. “To be in a good four-quarter game is good for our guys, and maybe a little humbling for all of us, but we definitely gotta get back to work on Monday and get better.”

    Listen to my interviews with Faust and Blum here.

    The Rams will travel to Carroll next week to take on the 1-1 Tigers in their district opener. A preview of that game will be posted later in the week.