Rams take on rivals in 2019 season finale

On Saturday, the Texas Wesleyan Rams will take the field for the last time in 2019.

The Rams (2-7) will be at home for the fourth time this season, hoping to finish with a win against the Wayland Baptist University Pioneers (4-4).

Wesleyan will be returning after their first home loss of the season; the Arizona Christian University Firestorm beat Wesleyan 45-35.  Despite coming back from this loss, the Rams are excited for the final game and aim to make the contest one to remember.

“Every loss hurts, and last week was no different,” offensive coordinator Kyle Cox wrote in an email.  “I think last week’s loss hurts more than the others because we clearly gave the game away. ACU did nothing to win the game, but we made just enough mistakes to make sure they did. The biggest positive was to see the young men continue to fight every play.  The future is so bright for this team. We have a lot of young talent that understands the work that must be put in place in order to succeed, and we are very close to breaking through that threshold.”

Kicker Gregory Blaser wrote in an email that this game was a tough loss for the Rams, but that they are hoping to learn from it and do better this upcoming weekend.

“Some positive moments were we kept on fighting till the end,” Blaser wrote, “we didn’t give up and just let them have the game. The negatives were we had way too many turnovers. We would have won if we didn’t turn the ball over so many times.”

Head coach Joe Prud’homme wrote in an email that this Saturday’s game will be big for the team and the Pioneers are going to be tough to beat.

“Wayland is a big play team themselves,” Prud’homme wrote.  “Their offense and defense have come up with big touchdowns, sacks and turnovers. They are a very physical and balanced team.”

Wayland has been a rival for Texas Wesleyan since football came back three years ago.  In 2017, the Rams hosted Wayland Baptist and lost 54-24, but Wayland later forfeited the game, giving Wesleyan its only win of the season, according to ramsports.net. In 2018, Wayland beat the Rams 41-30 on the road.

Cox wrote that the Rams are hoping to pull out a win so they can prove themselves to their fans.

“Wayland Baptist is one of our biggest rivals — if not our biggest,” Cox wrote.  “These guys do not like us one bit, and we aren’t too fond of them either. The last time they played at Farrington Field, Wayland’s team went to the 50 yardline during warm-ups and began talking smack right away before the game even started. They are a very aggressive team that flies around, and they give a ton of different looks defensively. Their main objectives are to confuse offenses with multiple fronts and coverages and fly to the football. “

This will be the only time in the 2019 season that the Rams have played at home two weeks in a row.  Play-by-play announcer and host of 1st and 10 with Coach Prud’homme, Jimmy Christopher, wrote in an email that this game will be one for the fans to come enjoy.

“The fans can look for an entertaining game with the chance for the Rams to exceed their 2018 win total,” Christopher wrote.  “Wayland Baptist is coming off a win over Panhandle State.  They have a big play quarterback, two good running backs and a fairly good defense.  The Rams will have to avoid WBU setting an early tempo.”

Wide receiver Brandon Rolfe wrote in an email that the team is hoping lots of fans will show up to the game, writing that this game will be “A true testament to what Texas Wesleyan football is about. We are playing a good Wayland Baptist team who is trying to end the season on a high note just like we are. We’re going to give everything we have to get a dub and end the season reaffirming how good we are.”

This game will be the last time many of the players on the team will take the field for Wesleyan. Cox wrote that this will be a high-intensity game with a lot on the line.

“For the first time since we brought football back,” Cox wrote, “Texas Wesleyan football will have a large graduating senior class that deserves a ton of recognition and love. Many of our seniors were here from the beginning of the program’s start, and they have put in a ton of time and effort into building this program from the ground up. I expect our team to play hard for the seniors and finish out the year strong. Rivalry game AND the last game for the seniors? How does it get better than that? We could use as many fans in the stands as humanly possible to help send these seniors off with a win!”

The Rams play Wayland Baptist University at 2 p.m. Saturday at Farrington Field. Tailgating starts at noon. For more information, go to ramsports.net