The momentum established by Arabia Mountain from last year’s first-ever region championship is still trending upward in 2017.
Through two weeks of play, the Rams have outscored the opposition, 90-7. Their latest offensive showcase was unleashed upon M.L. King in a 33-7 victory at Avondale Stadium.
“We opened up the playbook. It’s always physical when you play a neighboring team. I thought we got a little tired in the second half, but our guys played hard. We’re going to continue to get better each week,” said Arabia Mountain head coach Stanley Pritchett.
Arabia Mountain reached the end zone on its opening possession following a bountiful mixture of plays. After marching downfield, the drive appeared to hit the wall at close range. Facing fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line, the Rams pushed forward as Bryson Williams tossed a quick touchdown strike to wide receiver Jordan Barrow. The extra point failed and Arabia Mountain led 6-0.
M.L. King’s lone highlight of the first half and the game came off the legs of Jaelon Thomas. The offensive line perfectly executed their blocks and Thomas dashed the gaping hole for a 69-yard touchdown.
This run proved to be a blip on the radar. Arabia Mountain swiftly recovered and resumed its formula of success. On the ensuing possession, Williams pulled his squad together and anchored another point-producing drive.
The junior southpaw once again connected with Barrow for a 29-yard score to go up, 14-7.
Tyler Suber later added his name to the box score when he hauled in a pass near the close of the second quarter to give the Rams 26-7 lead at recess.
Williams fourth touchdown pass of the night was snatched out of the air by Corey Rolle to open the second half to put the game out of reach at 33-7.
“My receivers and running backs helped me out a lot. The coaching staff called all the right plays and we executed. Coach Pritchett says you have to be able to effectively run the offense and that’s what I tried to do versus M.L. King.,” said Williams.
While the Rams’ offense brought the crowd to their feet with wide open playbook, the defense planted M.L. King’s ball carriers in the turf with an onslaught of punishing hits. The starting front four of Kolbe Alexander, Demetric Barnes, Amir Graham and Thomas Rayton firmly held their ground and uprooted the Lions' blockers. This dominance at the point of attack freely allowed the linebacker core to scrape from sideline to sideline and clog the hole.
“It started all at practice. We go 100 percent in practice and we work hard in the weight room,” said defensive lineman Amir Graham. “We knew they were going to try and play us rough. We played our game and maintained our responsibilities. We’re trying to make a statement this year and prove to everybody that last year wasn’t a fluke.”
This setback versus Arabia Mountain drops M.L. King's record to 0-2. The Lions will attempt to recover and post a notch in the win column next week versus Miller Grove.
“We didn’t do well on offense or defense to give ourselves a chance, said M.L. King head coach Deante Lamar. “The spotlight was on us tonight and this is a learning experience.”
Arabia Mountain looks to continue its winning ways against Redan.