The Paoli Rams (3-2) came to play on Friday against the West Washington Senators. A completely different Rams team than what we saw in the Week 4 loss. Paoli was firing on both sides of the ball. The outside run game worked for them all night, the defense stepped up and played their best game of the season. It led to a shutout win for Paoli, 41 to 0.
Paoli moved the ball well, with 4 different runners rushing over 80 yards, with a team total of 507 yards on the ground. Senior Brandon Cook led the charge, rushing only 4 times for 157 yards and 2 touchdowns. Senior QB Braxton Elliot rushed 7 times for 147 yards and another 2 touchdowns. Fletcher Cole rushed 8 times for 80 yards.
The Senators said they would need to stop Trey Rominger in their pre-game radio interview, and their focus on the Junior RB was evident early on. The Senators had all eyes on Trey, going all in on the strategy, but Trey was still able to pick up 98 yards on 13 carries and 2 touchdowns. Rominger was an essential key for the exterior run game to open up, as he was the defensive’s sponge.
All of Paoli’s running backs are so quick once they break free, that every play feels like it will be a 20+ yard run, and there were a few of them.
Paoli Football Head Coach Neil Dittmer shares his thoughts about the difference from this week to last, “Our kids responded. They had our best week of practice yet and really mentally were locked in. We wanted to focus on shutting down the inside run game of West Washington and then try and keep the QB off balance in the throw game.”
“I’m proud of our whole team tonight. That’s who we can be if we execute like that. Braxton (Elliot) and Brandon Cook had great nights offensively. They (Senators) were really trying to take away Trey and our other guys stepped up. I thought our linebackers played extremely well too.”
It was clear the defense came to play, shutting out an undefeated West Washington team, only allowing a total 140 yards.
Penalties still plagued Paoli, this time in the form of illegal procedures. “Have to get rid of those, we were able to overcome them most of the time, but we will really need to focus on improving that this week in practice.” Coach Dittmer says of the penalties.
The Rams were able to get over the calls this game, but it hasn’t been that way in past weeks. The Rams have a lot of pre-snap offensive movement, which takes a lot of concentration for the OL and the RB to pull at the right time. The team will adjust, as their holding calls went exponentially down in Week 5.
West Washington received the ball to start the game and they rushed for one first down before Paoli “D” stepped up early to force a big stop on 4th down.
On Paoli’s first possession they switch things up from the usual and attempted a long throw that was almost hauled in with a diving catch. The Rams would drive the field with good runs from Rominger, Cook and Elliot. Elliot would eventually score the first touchdown of the game on an outside run to the right. 6 to 0, Paoli.
The Senators fumbled the ball away on their ensuing drive, which gives the ball back to Paoli and a Trey Rominger rushing touchdown, breaking several tackles up the middle. Paoli up 14 to 0.
West Washington went to the passing game on the fifth possession of the game. They completed two straight 1st down passes, and it felt like the Senators could score, but the Rams defense steps up again and forces another turnover on downs.
Paoli gets the ball back midway through the second quarter, with the ball on their own six-yard line. Rominger gets the ball up to the 25, followed up with a Brandon Cook 69-yard touchdown. 20 to 0.
Senators would slip up on the kick return and start their drive on the 15. They get one 1st down, but penalties eventually lead them back to a 3rd and 28. That’s when Trey Rominger comes across the field and lays a hit on the Senator’s RB, a hit that could be heard from the road, forcing another fourth down. West Washington punts.
Rams’ QB Braxton Elliot and Trey Rominger team up on the next possession and drive the field, leading to an Elliot 16-yard touchdown run, once again to the right exterior.
Senators sputtered again and punt.
Then, Cook comes back with a 62-yard touchdown gallop. At this point the score is Paoli 34-0. The tone was set, and the game was basically over at half. The clock would run for most of the second half and younger players would get their chance to come into the game.
The Rams will travel to Eastern Greene next Friday (9/23/2022). The Thunderbirds are 1-4 on the season, with their only win against Mitchell. Eastern will feature a good running back in SISN Week 4 POTW James Lewis. Paoli’s rushing attack may prove to much for the rebuilding Thunderbirds.
West Washington will have another tough game in Week 5. With a home game against rush heavy Perry Central, who also suffered their first loss last week to Tecumseh.
Game Photo Gallery
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