The Roseau Rams came out like a new team--literally--against the Muskie “Bee” football team in the second half of their game there last Thursday.
With the Muskies leading 8-6 at halftime on a 30-yard touchdown by Kevin Gemmell on a reverse, the Rams suddenly got bigger, faster, and stronger after the break en route to a 34-8 win.
“We did very well in the first half,” coach Jason Kabel said. “We ran the ball, we passed the ball, we played solid football.
“We just played a different team. The other team grew at the half,” he noted.
Kabel said Roseau chose to play its ‘A’ players at key positions in the second half and the “Bees” were simply no match for the new Rams’ lineup.
In the first half, the Muskies were solid on defence, creating a pair of turnovers and limiting the Rams to little yardage through the first two quarters.
Offensively, the black-and-gold moved the ball well enough in the first half on the strength of Brad Wakefield, who ran the ball effectively and also caught a long reception that helped set up their lone touchdown.
He also hooked up with Gemmell on a successful two-point conversion after the major.
The season-ending loss left the “Bees” with a 1-5 record against American teams but Kabel and co-coach Benji Andrusco said they can see this program only getting better next year.
“I thought we had some pretty good horses with Wakefield, Nathan Miller before he was injured, Kyle Martin, and Kris Esselink, who really helped us a lot,” said Andrusco .
Kabel also felt the new Muskie football program, which ran with ‘A,’ ‘B,’ and ‘C’ teams for the first time, will benefit the players coming up through the system.
“I think it [helped them] for sure,” he said. “They all get that many more reps in.”
“It helps us because with the same system for the ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’ teams, we’re all on the same offensive page and the players can learn the system,” agreed Andrusco.
And Kabel was optimistic they, as coaches, can turn things around.
“We’d like to turn it into a 6-0 season but 3-3 isn’t a bad mark to shoot for,” he remarked. “But the kids had fun and they learned a lot.”