Play Maranatha for Class 3A playoff spot

It all comes down to this.

The Pleasant Ridge Rams’ football team kick offs Thursday night knowing that a win means they are Class 3A playoff-bound. Anything less will keep their bags unpacked for the postseason.

The Rams (3-5, 1-1) take on Maranatha (2-6, 1-1) in a Class 3A District 2 showdown in Easton in a winner-take-all contest for second place and the other playoff spot in the four-team alignment.

“This week we are in a must win situation to continue our season,” Pleasant Ridge head coach Patrick McCollim said. “We have talked to the boys a lot about being in control of our own future and being sure that we leave it all on the field this week to ensure that we have no regrets when the game is over.  We have been playing lots of younger guys, and our few seniors who are healthy have done a great job guiding these younger guys on the field.  

“I think those young guys are very grateful for this guidance and leadership and take their opportunity to earn at least one more game with the seniors very seriously.”

Both teams come in with wins against Atchison County High School and losses against district champion Maur Hill-Mount Academy.

Pleasant Ridge won 28-20 against Atchison County last Friday.

“Last week we played a tough team who made us work for everything we got,” McCollim said. “I was very proud of the toughness and determination our kids took to getting the job done and winning that game.  

“I feel like we have had to deal with a lot of obstacles this season, and there have been times that those obstacles reflected with poor play on the game field.  But I truly believe that those challenges have made us stronger team and it may not show immediately, but I believe the experience our younger groups gained this year will be big for the future of our program.”