Head football coach Joe Prud’homme says the Rams have one priority heading into Saturday’s homecoming game against Bacone College.
They need to finish what they start.
“The main priority is to finish plays, drives, quarters, halves and games. We need to play well in all three phases in the same game for an entire game,” Prud’homme said Tuesday, not long after the team’s early morning practice. “We learn from our mistakes, build on our successes, and then turn the page after every game.”
The Rams (0-6, 0-3 Central States Football League) lost to Texas College on Saturday; the Steers had not won a game this season or last. For Saturday’s homecoming game at Farrington Field, the Rams face another struggling opponent. Bacone College is 1-5 this season and 1-3 against CSFL opponents, according to baconeathletics.com.
One of the real keys to the Rams getting a win before a hometown crowd is attitude, said running back Da’vonte Mitchell-Dixon.
“Being 0-6 is something that no player or team wants,” Mitchell-Dixon said. “It hurts and a lot of people on this team have never lost this many games in high school. We all have stayed positive and the people that care about this team and want to succeed know that we can’t give up and have to keep fighting.”
The team has been working on getting focused and perfecting their skills, Prud’homme said. The Rams are working hard to improve every area they can.
The defense is focusing on defending against high impact plays, he said.
“Take away the big plays and adjust to motion,” Prud’homme said when asked what the defense’s main focus was.
The Rams have been spending even more time on the practice field than usual, cornerback Warren Cotlong said.
“We started having practice start a little earlier,” Cotlong said, “so we can have plenty of time to make sure everyone’s equipped for the game.”
The defense gets a little better week by week, so the main goal is to maintain the rate of improvement, Cotlong said.
The offense has been trying to finish more drives with touchdowns, Prud’homme said.
“Finishing plays and drives,” Prud’homme said, “continue to improve the run game.”
The offense is working on operating as a single unit instead of individual players, Mitchell-Dixon said.
“One thing that has messed up us all year long is that we never have all 11 players on the field going 100 percent and doing their job,” he said. “If we get that fixed, the sky’s the limit.”
- Special teams
Special teams has continued to improve each week. Colby Reed had an impressive 57-yard punt last week, which set up Vincent Stephenson’s safety, according to ramsports.net.
“Special teams have been really solid this year,” Prud’homme said, “we want to score this week on special teams.”
The culture of the team has only gotten better and better since day one, Prud’homme said.
“Our team is growing up and learning what it takes to compete at the collegiate level and they have kept a positive attitude,” he said. “We are building the foundation and when you are as young as we are, coupled with the amount of injuries that we have had, it makes it very tough.”
The team uses mistakes as learning opportunities and builds on their successes, he said.
“We turn our attention towards improving the overall team every Sunday,” he said.
The team always wants to up the intensity of their plays and be more aggressive, Cotlong said.
“Our coaches make sure we understand that you practice the way you play in the game,” he said, “so every practice we like to compete with high intensity so that everyone can get an accurate simulation or feel of how it will be on Saturday.”
Intensity is something the Rams cannot go without, Mitchell-Dixon said.
“Intensity is something that this team needs,” he said. “There’s drills we do to get us to where we need to be when it comes to intensity.”
The Rams play Bacone College at 2 p.m. Saturday at Farrington Field. Live stats and a live stream of the game will be available Saturday on ramsports.net. Tickets are $10 general admission and are available at the gate and on ramsports.net.