Vo-Tech coach Mark Varner has options whenever he kicks off. They’re just not good options.
Without an experienced kicker, Varner can either opt to squib it and give up field position, or try to kick deep and, as he says, “roll the dice.”
With a four-point fourth-quarter lead against St. Joseph’s, Varner decided to roll the dice.
The Rams sent a deep squib to senior Jake Stormer, who fielded it at the 40 and ran untouched for a 60-yard touchdown that gave the Wolves (2-4) a 21-18 win.
“We just didn’t do our job on that play,” Varner said.
Despite giving up the go-ahead touchdown late, the Rams (1-7) still had their chances to go ahead late. They had the ball twice with less than six minutes left, but failed to get into Wolves’ territory either time.
On the series after Stormer’s return, the Rams went three-and-out and were forced to punt.
The Rams ran the ball well in the second half, with Sevon King running for 105 yards and a beautiful 23-yard touchdown after halftime. But the Wolves stopped King for a 1-yard gain on first down, forcing the Rams to try and throw.
The Wolves then went three-and-out, and decided to punt and try to pin the Rams deep with less than two minutes left. Brendan Robinson got off a punt that landed at the five-yard line and simply died, giving the Rams a lot to navigate with 1:46 left and no timeouts.
A holding penalty with 37.5 seconds left pushed the Rams back to their 31. Two plays later, Trevor Welsh tossed a desperate heave that was tipped and intercepted by Robinson to seal the Wolves’ win.
Vo-Tech had trouble sustaining any offense in the first half, but was kept afloat by a great performance by wide receiver John Binder.
Binder, who was usually matched up in man coverage against freshman Zach Decarmine, outgained the Wolves by himself in the first half. He had four catches for 153 yards including touchdowns of 54 and 75 yards.
But the few big plays Binder provided wasn’t enough for the Rams.
“Our offense needs all three downs to pick up those 10 yards,” Varner said. “If we get held to a zero or negative gain on first down, if we get pushed into second-and-13, second-and-14, it makes us do things we don’t do best.”