Pleasant Ridge prides itself on ball control, but big plays by the offense and defense gave the Rams a 44-6 win at Immaculata Friday night.
Rams sophomore quarterback Nick Holmes had two touchdown runs of 80 yards or more, a 32-yard touchdown run and a long interception return for a score.
“We talked a lot about staying on your blocks and blocking to the whistle,” said Rams head coach Pat McCollim. “That’s what opens up things for Nick and Blake (Graham) and Kyle Grantham down field. Those guys keep climbing to the next level.”
Holmes ended up with 235 yards and three touchdowns off only 10 carries.
Sophomore linebacker Robert McManigle got his hands on the football by intercepting a Justin Varney pass off a tip in the red zone and retuning it all the way to the Immaculata 2-yard line.
Senior running back Jason Simonis got it into the end zone on the next play for his second touchdown on the night.
He got the game started with a score from the 1-yard line on the opening drive.
Simonis had 27 yards and the two scores.
Senior Blake Graham stopped another threatening Raiders drive by intercepting a pass in the end zone and returning it to their own 10-yard line.
That turnover led to the 83-yard touchdown run by Holmes to make it 44-0 with 2:34 left in the first half.
Graham had a good night on offense with six carries for 46 yards.
The Rams put in substitutes in the second half that saw a continuous running clock.
“It’s great for those guys to get in,” McCollim said. “Again, I’m happy with the fact that they executed and line up right for the most part because they just don’t get the chances in practice, so that made me very happy.”
The Raiders got their lone score on a 63-yard run by sophomore Drew Sachen on the first play of the second half.
Sachen ended up with 15 carries for 143 yards.
The 2-point conversions try failed and Immaculata only saw the ball one more time the entire game.
With the help of a running clock and a solid running attack, the Rams held the ball the rest of the game after the Raiders went three-and-out in the third quarter.
“We are a time of possession team,” McCollim said. “We want to hold on to it. We feel like that’s out best defense is to keep the other team off the field.”
The 3-1 Rams host defending league champion McLouth for Homecoming next week. The Bulldogs beat the Rams 47-20 last season.
“Our kids have had this circled on the calendar for a while,” McCollim said. “We want another piece of them. If we can limit our own mistakes, I think we can give McLouth a good game.”