Mineral Wells Area News

Rams let one get away in Wichita Falls

Rams let one get away in Wichita Falls
October 10
20:56 2023


Special to Mineral Wells Area News

WICHITA FALLS – Mineral Wells quarterback Owen Gadd threw for 169 yards and three touchdowns and running back Jovan Ramirez romped for 163 yards but the Rams couldn’t overcome mistakes, missed opportunities and some questionable officiating in dropping their District 4-4A-1 opener Friday to Wichita Falls, 41-26.

Two interceptions, penalties and a couple of drives resulting in field goals hurt the Rams’ chances, however Mineral Wells (3-4, 0-1) entered the fourth quarter down just two points and was within five midway through the final stanza before the Coyotes (2-5, 1-0) iced the game with a late touchdown. A controversial pass interference call late in the game helped seal the Rams’ fate.

Wichita Falls were gracious hosts early, turning the ball over twice on second quarter fumbles in their end of the field, but the Rams came away with just three points on those Coyotes miscues.

The Coyotes were first to score, jumping out to a 7-0 lead late in the first on a 5-yard run by Cameron Jones.

The next possession, which spanned the first and second quarters, saw the Rams respond with a drive from their 20 to Wichita Falls’ 14 before stalling. Gabriel Borjon booted a field goal to pull the Rams to within 7-3.

The first of the Coyotes’ two first half fumbles put the Rams in business at WF’s 27-yard line. But the end zone once again eluded the Rams, who came away with no points after a field goal try missed.

Wichita Falls followed with their second fumble, this one recovered by Kayden Montalvo at the Coyotes’ 11-yard line. The Rams advanced to the 3 but settled for a 25-yard FG by Borjon to make it a 7-6 game.

A few minutes left on the first half clock was all the Coyotes needed to mount a drive that ended with a Zage Gravitt 7-yard toss to Jaxxon Mitchell. The converted point-after kick made the score 14-6 in WF’s favor at the intermission.

The Coyotes took the opening second half kickoff and quickly scored on a 52-yard run by Eric Powell to take a 21-6 lead.

The Rams responded with a 26-yard scoring strike from Gadd to Kaidin Kaspar. The missed PAT made it 21-12 midway through the third quarter.

Wichita Falls briefly celebrated what appeared to be a 53-yard touchdown pass called back on an offensive holding call. The Coyotes ended up punting the ball back to the Rams. 

What appeared to by a 71-yard touchdown pass to Harrison was called back on an offensive pass interference call. However, the Rams pressed on. A 60-yard pass to Jaidun Fisher set Mineral Wells up at the Coyotes’ 26. The drive culminated in a 10-yard TD pass to Braden Ethridge. Borjon’s kick made it 21-19 in Wichita Falls’ favor as the game moved into the final quarter.

Once again, Wichita Falls was able to respond quickly. A long run by Eric Powell set WF up at the Rams’ 15. That led to Jones’ second touchdown run for WF, staking the Coyotes to a 28-19 early in the fourth.

Jordan Luera Jr. picked off a Gadd pass attempt on the Rams’ next possession, leading to a 35-yard FG by Keaton Evans and a 31-19 Wichita Falls advantage with about 7 minutes to play.

A 40-yard Ramirez run gave Mineral Wells a first down at WF’s 28. Gadd then found Harrison on a 29-yard touchdown pass. Borjon again was successful on the PAT try, and Mineral Wells was within striking distance at 31-26 with 6 minutes left.

It looked like Mineral Wells was getting the ball back on an interception by Harrison. But he was flagged for defensive pass interference, much to the objections of the Rams sideline and visitors in the stands.

Wichita Falls kept possession and continued to drive, leading to a 4-yard touchdown by Jordan Mitchell with 2 minutes left to produce the final 38-26 margin.

Defensively, Jonathan Camfield led the Rams defenders with 13 tackles, including two unassisted and one tackle for a loss. Defensive end Ethridge was credited with 12 stops, three unassisted. DE Trent Yowell and Kason Jenkins each had two tackles for loss, according to team stats. Yowell totaled eight tackles, as did Cassius Johnson and PR Mendez. Montalvo had nine tackles, including one sack.

Not helping Mineral Wells’ cause are two key players currently out with injuries – lineman Hunter Menchaca and linebacker Uriel Bueno, one of the team’s top tacklers, who is nursing a shoulder injury. Those missing pieces have left Rams coaches shuffling and inserting players into different roles until their return.

Now in a three-game slide, Mineral Wells will need to shake this loss off quickly, keeping in mind its goal of making the post-season is still within reach. The Rams will be heavily tested this week with Springtown coming to town for a scheduled 7 p.m. Kickoff at Ram Stadium. Playing its district opener, PoJo is 4-2 after taking last week off. 

Springtown began the season with narrow losses to Alvarado and Graham before reeling off four straight wins over WF Hirschi, Carrollton Creekview, Glen Rose and Waco Connally.

Decatur (3-4, 1-0) opened district action with a 51-21 win over Burkburnett (2-5, 0-1).

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