The Lacombe Rams football team were looking to rebound in a big way against the Holy Rosary Raiders after being blanked 44-0 by Medicine Hat in Week 1.
“I had the opportunity to exchange film with these guys. In my opinion, they were as good as Medicine Hat,” Ross said.
Lacombe would ultimately show positive signs, but would go on to lose in heartbreaking fashion.
The first half would show plenty of promise, with Rams Quarterback Mitch Simmons managing to find stand-out wide receiver Richard Jans for three touchdowns.
“We can rely on a lot of our offensive keys. The real big difference was our o-line improving 100 per cent,” Ross said.
Unfortunately for Lacombe, the Raiders would capitalize one two Simmons interceptions and a recovered onside kick, leading to a 21-20 lead lead at the half for Holy Rosary.
The third quarter would be a defensive stalemate, with neither Lacombe or Holy Rosary being able to move the ball too far away from midfield.
The Rams would be the first to break through early in the fourth quarter, after an extended drive starting near the end of third quarter lead to a Simmons touchdown pass to Turner Douglas — leading to a 26-21 Ram lead with just over 10 minutes to play.
The game would remain in Rams control until the final minutes when consistent pressure in the Rams own zone would lead to a quarterback sneak by Raider quarterback Dante Tabacu, leading to a 27-26 Raider lead with just 2:17 to play.
An untimely fumble with just over a minute would the ultimate demise of the Rams, leading to a 27-26 heartbreaking Raider win.
“Mistakes happen and we have to teach kids that in sports, you have to have a short memory. Simon (Gray) can lament a fumble, but he made a bunch of good plays,” Ross said. “It is a matter of keeping them positive and tell them that bad things can still happen when you do the right things.”
The Rams now go on to Bonneville to play their last exhibition game, before starting the regular season in Red Deer the following week.
Ross believes that wins will start coming for this team.
“I think it is going to be these guys figuring out football. They are sometimes so confused because they are so young. Once they become more football intelligent, I think they will be okay,” Ross said.