The Rams lost to Lyon College 21-14 on Saturday in Arkansas, but there was a significant sign of improvement.

For the first time in the season, the Rams (0-8, 0-5 CSFL) led an opponent. The team’s first quarter drive of 45 yards in 11 plays was capped by a fourth down Jermarcus Jones one-yard run; Bryce Nye’s extra point gave Texas Wesleyan a 7-0 lead, according to ramsports.net.

The Scots (3-5, 1-4 CSFL) kicked two field goals in the second quarter to make the score 7-6 Wesleyan; head coach Joe Prud’homme called this the game’s turning point.

“I think when we gave up the two FGs late in the second quarter was a turning point,” he said.

In the third quarter, Lyon scored on an 18-yard pass capping a seven play/50 yard drive, followed by a two-point conversion. They scored another touchdown in the fourth quarter, followed by an extra point.

The Rams scored a second time in the fourth quarter on a seven-yard pass from Erik Richards (seven completions out of 19 for 64 yards and no interceptions) to Jones, followed by a Nye extra point.

The Rams are getting better but they still need to focus on improving in these ways:

  1. Getting momentum.

The Rams were encouraged to play harder by their first lead of the season, linebacker Vincent Stephenson said.

“It felt good to play with a lead,” Stephenson, “it gave us energy knowing we had a lead especially in the first half.” 

Linebacker Tristen Blake said taking the lead in the first quarter really motivated the team.

“Honestly, it gave us a lot of momentum going into the second half.” Blake said. “It was their homecoming, so it just made it that much sweeter to be up on them.”

  1. Playing as a unit.

“I think we improved as a unit this week ability wise,” Stephenson said, “and also improved on our effort.” 

The Rams brought even more effort to the Lyon College game than any other game, Blake said.

“We were playing more as a unit, as a group,” he said. “It wasn’t just a bunch of individuals on the field. We played cohesively.”

  1. Preventing big plays

“The defense created some really good opportunities and played well overall,” Prud’homme said. “We gave up a couple of throws that hurt us.”

The defense did a great job making plays in the backfield, Stephenson said.

“As a defense, we did a good job of getting pressure on the quarterback,” he said.

The Rams competed well but were lacking execution at times, Blake said.

“If you take a few plays away here and there,” he said, “maybe a play on offense and a play on defense, we win the game.”

  1. Improve passing consistency.

“The offense did better,” Prud’homme said. “We need to be able to put together more consistent drives and improve our passing efficiency.”

Tristen Blake prepares to make a tackle in the Southwestern Assemblies of God University game.
Photo by Little Joe

Vincent Stephenson (36) helps get the defensive line set up for a play in the Bacone College game.
Photo by Little Joe