RAMS WIN - Lacombe Rams slotback Richard Jans would pull down this big catch against the Notre Dame Cougars. The Rams would go on to win 39-28. Todd Colin Vaughan/Lacombe Express

Rams pull away from Cougars in second head-to-head of the year

Notre Dame and Lacombe played under the Friday night lights, ending in a Rams win 39-28

The Notre Dame Cougars and the Lacombe Rams played a heated affair under the Friday night lights, ultimately ending in the Rams winning 39-28.

“I thought both teams played okay tonight,” Rams Coach Jason Petrie said.

The game started off with Lacombe having to concede the one point on the conversion to the Cougars.

The Rams would quickly bounce back on a QB Johnny Ericson pass to receiver Tristyn Foley. The Rams threw a bad snap to their kicker for the the one-point conversion, but were luckily saved by a Notre Dame face-mask penalty which led to the two-point conversion on the ensuing play —bringing the score to 8-1.

On the very next play, Cougars runningback Aiden Vida busted loose for a monster 72-yard run, which was punctuated by a pro-level juke of the Rams defender at the 15-yard line.

The Rams would have the answer on Ericson’s second TD pass of the game to slotback Richard Jans, bringing the score to 15-7 for Lacombe.

Vida would have the answer for Notre Dame on his second running touchdown of the game, bringing his team to within one 14-15.

Ericson would continue his hot first half with his third TD pass of the first half to slotback Matt Darnell — putting the Rams up 22-15.

The chaotic first half would come to a close with the Cougars tying the game 22-22 on a touchdown pass to Wyatt Reefhuis.

The second half would feel like deja vu from the first quarter, as the Rams would concede two points before Ericson found Darnell for his fourth TD pass of the game, stretching the lead to 30-22.

The Rams would follow up that score with a 35-yard field goal, bringing the score to 33-22.

“I thought Johnny (Ericson) had a fantastic game,” Petrie said. “Tonight was his best game I would have to say.”

Vida would go down on the ensuing play with what appeared to be a lower-body injury, hindering the Cougars’ offensive attack. Notre Dame would recover from the injury to complete a touchdown pass to Reefhuis at the end of the third quarter, bringing the score to 33-28.

Vida would later return to the game.

“We had some breakdowns,” Petrie said. “In the first half on kick-offs, punts and special teams—we were giving up big returns. We talked about that at the half.”

Lacombe would re-establish their lead on a running TD by Zach Schwab, bringing the score to its final score of 39-28.

Petrie said that the Cougars played much better this time around.

“They put 28 on us and that was really unexpected,” Petrie said.

“I thought our defense would be a little more stout tonight, but hats off, they played very well.”

Lacombe improved to 3-1 on the year, while the Cougars fell to 0-4.

todd.vaughan@reddeerexpress.com