Rams sting Muskie ‘Bees’

There’s no substitute for experience.
The Muskie ‘B’ football squad gave a preview of the joys and pains expected from a young club learning the basics of the game in its season-opening 30-7 loss to the Roseau Rams here Thursday afternoon.
The lopsided score didn’t have Muskie coach Lou Gauthier overly concerned. His top priority is preparing the young players for future success on the ‘A’ squad and voiced optimism after the game.
“For their first game, I think they played really good,” said Gauthier. “I especially liked how our offensive line was giving our quarterbacks time to throw the ball.
“There’s lots for the team to learn, and there’s bound to be some mistakes.”
The Rams’ key to success was no passing fancy as running back Corey Erickson scored three touchdowns on the ground while backfield mate Derek Biermier added a fourth.
Erickson’s 32-yard romp was the lone score of the opening quarter as Roseau jumped to a 6-0 lead (the extra point was missed).
The Muskies responded in the second quarter as quarterback Ty Griffith and Craig McTavish hooked up for a 65-yard catch-and-run play to put the “Bees” up 7-6.
But it was all Roseau after that. First, Biermier broke loose for a 60-yard jaunt to the end zone to make it 12-7 at halftime (the convert again was missed).
Then the Rams wasted no time grabbing a stranglehold on the game at the start of the third quarter.
After the kickoff was returned to the Muskies 43-yard line, Erickson took the hand-off on the first play from scrimmage and raced up the middle of the vacated secondary for the major.
“We had some missed tackles today, and had some over-pursuit on a couple of plays,” noted Gauthier. “That was one of them.”
With less than three minutes left in the quarter, Erickson was back for more, shedding one tackle before sprinting down the sideline 39 yards, with a second-consecutive successful two-point conversion boosting the Roseau lead to 28-7.
The Muskies defence stiffened in the fourth quarter, recovering a fumble and coming through with a goal-line stand late in the period. But their game-long scramble to properly substitute between plays came back to haunt them.
With confused players running on and off the field before a punt, the Muskies wound up with a centre who hadn’t done a long snap before.
Kicker Thomas Edwards tried to field the low snap as it bounced along the ground, but he was tackled before he could escape the end zone for a two-point safety to round out the scoring.
“The substitutions will come with experience,” said Gauthier. “The guys are still trying to learn from all the charts we just put up for them a few days ago.
“Hopefully, it will come together for the next game.”
The Muskies next see action Sept. 26 against the International Falls Broncos (the site has yet to be determined).
In related news, the Muskie ‘A’ team is battling the top-ranked Oak Park Raiders in their WHSFL season-opener here Friday. Kick-off was slated for 3 p.m.