Muskies drop nailbiter to Rams


Well, at least they’ve been competitive.
That’s the biggest thing that can be said for Fort High’s football team, which is coming off a pair of disappointing losses at Muskie Field.
The black-and-gold (1-3) now have dropped two-straight games in front of the home faithful, but the combined margin of difference in those two games is a mere three points after losing 14-13 to the visiting Stonewall Rams (3-1) on Friday afternoon.
The Muskie offence struggled in the early going as quarterback Tobijah Gerber was unable to find a rhythm with his receivers for most of the first half.
Meanwhile, running back Tyler Abma was held in check for the opening quarters, as well, save for a 20-yard dash he reeled off on Fort High’s second possession of the game.
The offence was forced to operate behind a bit of a patchwork offensive line, which was missing cornerstones Paul Vivian and Cody Hunsperger.
With the younger presence in the Muskie trenches, the Rams were able to get pressure on Gerber and neutralize Abma for the most part.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Rams had good field position for much of the first half and were able to take advantage with 1:25 left in the first quarter, punching in a short-yardage plunge to grab a 7-0 lead that held up until halftime.
Early in the second half, the black-and-gold were put into a tough situation when Gerber was knocked out of the game after a hard sack by the Rams’ defence.
Receiver Brad McDonald took over at pivot, and was able to give the Muskies a different look than the Rams had seen on tape leading up to the game.
Gerber already had been hampered by a nagging injury, which limited his mobility, but McDonald was able to scramble and provide a little more chaos for the Rams.
McDonald and Abma were able to crack the Stonewall defence at 2:50 of the third quarter after a Muskie march down the field.
Abma capped the drive with a three-yard run—dragging a couple of Ram defenders with him as he crossed the goal line.
The convert was good and the game was knotted at 7-7.
The black-and-gold found paydirt again on the very next series when Abma eluded a number of Rams, jiving his way into the end zone on a 28-yard scamper at 11:45 of the fourth quarter.
But the point after was unsuccessful, so the Muskies only led 13-7.
The Muskie defence made a huge stop with less than five minutes to play, penetrating the Stonewall line and sacking quarterback Curtis Unrau for a loss.
The Rams battled back on a later drive, however. After a touchdown was called back, Stonewall scored just moments later with 1:22 left.
The convert was good—which proved to be the winning point as Fort High was unable to muster much of an attack on their final two possessions.
The Muskies were without Abma in the late going after he left the game due to an injury.
Fort High now goes on the road for the next two weeks, squaring off against the Dakota Lancers (4-0) this Friday before facing Sisler at Canad Inns Stadium the following Friday.
The Muskies then will wrap up the regular season here Oct. 22 at 3 p.m. against the St. Norbert Celtics.