Murrieta Mesa begins season with win over Jurupa Hills
Friday, September 6th, 2013
Issue 36, Volume 17.
Fast and furious – that sums up last week’s Rams game. Murrieta Mesa scored 28 points in the opening quarter of their first game Friday night to let everyone know that the Rams are ready to build on last year’s successful season.
Substituting for a Rams running attack decimated by preseason injuries, linebacker Chandler Woodward started in the Murrieta Mesa offensive backfield. He promptly took the ball on the second play of their first possession and raced 71 yards into the Spartan end zone.
Making his first varsity start, sophomore quarterback Peyton Ulh then connected with Davian Neitz for a 40-yard touchdown reception. He then threw a 17-yard TD pass to Bryan Phan. Daniel Castro scored on a 12-yard run, replacing Woodward who went down with an injury.
Coach Justin Schaeffer has run through four running backs and the season is one game deep.
"Chandler was our starting running back and I wasn’t expecting to get many carries tonight, but when he got hurt I knew I had to step in," said Castro. "Coach called a sweep for me to run, I saw the hole, cut and the line let me into the end zone."
Schaeffer mixed more running plays into his game plan. It was all about ball control against Jurupa Hills. Five of the Rams’s 20 completions went for 20 yards or more.
Uhl connected with Neitz again in the fourth period for another touchdown toss. Uhl ended the game with 252 yards and four touchdowns.
"Peyton is better than people give him credit for" said Neitz. "He really surprised us," added Castro.
The Rams offensive line gave their quarterback plenty of time to orchestrate the offense.
"The O-line had a pretty good game. We protected Peyton and he had all day in the pocket and gave him time to run the offense," said senior tackle Ruben Meza. "We looked good for a season opener but we have a lot of things to work on to get better."
The Spartans tried to roar back and outscored the Rams 14-10 in the second half, but the Rams hung tough and walked away with the win.
Spartan quarterback Damion Wright completed 20 of 45 passes for 286 yards and three touchdowns against a Rams defense that were missing their star linebacker, Woodward.
Coach Schaeffer named Castro and Mateo Thompson as co-players of the game. "Danny came in for an injured Chandler Woodward at running back and had 12 carries for 52 yards with a TD and caught 3 passes for 22 yards," said Schaeffer. "Mateo was 6/6 on PAT’s and had a huge fourth quarter 32 yard field goal for us."
The Ram defense had outstanding performances from defensive back Billy Montoya Bridges, and the d-line consisting of Wesley Scott, Nick Tejada, Bryson and Tommy McCraw.
"The defense played very well," said Castro. "They contained their quarterback who was their main offensive threat. They held him to minimum rushing yards."
The Bulldogs look tougher than last year’s team that was blown away 35-12 by Murrieta Mesa. The team has dramatically improved. Evidence for the turn around is how they rebounded from last year’s 46-0 loss to Banning last season.
Game time is 7 p.m. at Rams stadium.
Come out and support the home team and catch all the fun and excitement of high school football.
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