The 0-3 Rams faced off against the #1 ranked team in the country on Friday night, and boy was it hard to watch. The University of Calgary Dinos laid a beating on the Rams with no mercy; they even left the starting QB in until the fourth quarter, even though it was 41-0 at half-time. I’m not sure on exact stats for this game, but I would not be surprised if, as a whole, the Dino’s receiving core had their best game ever. A loss was expected in this game by most people who attended, but I don’t think anyone could have guessed it would be that bad.
When asked how they thought the Rams would do, one fan told me, “They are absolutely going to lose, I’m really only here as an excuse to start drinking early,” and if there was ever a game that you would want to drink till you forget, this game was it. Final score: 72-8.
The first quarter started out decent for the Rams. Number 32 Mason Rossler had a sack early, which forced a punt, and the Rams started moving it down the field, only for a penalty to end their drive, and that was it for any sort of offensive momentum until the third quarter. The Dinos got the ball back and marched down the field to open the scoring, and the first quarter ended 7-0, not bad eh?
Well, the floodgates opened with the start of the second quarter. A catch-and-run by the Dinos’ Hartley leads to a score, then the running back punches one in, followed by another two passing TD’s and a 48-yard field goal to end the half 41-0. The deep ball was really the story of this game, with 3 60+ yd. receptions for the Dinos. In the third quarter, the Dinos got trapped deep in their end and were forced to punt. The punter/ kicker, who was having a great game, made one mistake and shanked a punt that let the Rams start at the 35. A penalty helped them get a little closer, and #3 Michael Webber broke the shutout on an outside run, and the two-point convert was good. On the ensuing kickoff, however, the Dinos returner took it all the way back to score and the third quarter came to an end 55-8. The Dinos put their backup QB in for the fourth quarter, but it didn’t really help the Rams’ case, even he exploited the Rams secondary with the deep ball. One field goal, a Rams fumble, and two touchdowns later, and finally the massacre that I was witnessing came to an end.
For a position that usually gets no love, I am going to give a little love to the Rams O-line. QB Noah Picton had a decent amount of time in the pocket for most of the game, which is all due to the good play of the offensive line, who didn’t allow a sack until the early fourth quarter. Which I would say is impressive, based on how outmatched the Rams were all game.
Mason Rossler stood out, in a good way, on defense, at the start of the game at least, with a sack and another tackle for a loss on the running back.
Honestly, the only other thing that comes to mind for ‘the good’ was the fighter jet that flew over at the end of “Oh Canada.” That was pretty cool.
Everything! The Dino’s completely outmatched the Rams in every aspect of the game, and I can’t think of anything, specifically, that I want to pick out of the smorgasbord of bad football that I watched.
At the start of the game, one thing that I noticed was the good energy that was coming from the crowd. Everyone seemed to be pretty excited and happy. By the end of the game, I was literally trying to remember the energy in the building at the start of the game, because the whole place was just dejected. Aside from the Rams’ play, which was both bad and ugly, the fact that Calgary’s starting QB played into the fourth quarter was pretty unnecessary when, at the half, it was 41-0. They could have played their backups in the second half and still walked away with a very easy win, instead of keeping their foot on the gas the whole game.
This game really showed the difference between the top teams in the CIS and the bottom teams. Even just looking at them warming up, they looked huge compared to the Rams and they performed like a professional team. I talked to offensive lineman Matthew Degelman later that night after the game, and asked him just how good the Dinos are. He responded with, “They are good, but they are not beat-us-by-sixty-points good.”
The Rams players knew they didn’t put up their best fight on Saturday evening, and they may never be able to compete with teams like the Dinos, but as more players are recruited under the new coaching staff and the team shifts from most of them learning a new system to most of them already having known the system for a few years, I think we will see the Rams start to compete with more teams every year.