A First For Rams

By Ted Rudolph, TheSportsDept.com

ENFIELD – A pair of football teams struggling to regain respectability met in Enfield Friday night and each was eager to dent the victory column for the first time in a long time.

Rockville traveled to Fermi having not won a game in more than 13 months. The Falcons, have been on a considerably longer slide, dropping 50 in a row since last winning on Nov. 5, 2010.

With both teams 0-6, something good was bound to happen for one of them; on this night, it turned out to be Rockville’s turn.

The Rams parlayed a pair of second-half touchdown passes from Justin Orlowski to Jake Wilson and a rare safety into an 18-0 victory and a post-game celebration befitting a playoff team.

“You could tell this week in practice it was totally different,” Rockville head coach AJ Taddio said. “It was a team we felt we were equal to, with a heck of a coach over there who’s having the same issues I am. It’s a tough CCC, we’re battling every week, but it was a special week of practice because we were up for the game more than normal.”

Rockville had lost 14 straight games  since a 22-6 victory over Weaver on Sept. 27, 2014. Ironically Fermi’s last victory also came against Weaver.

The first half was largely a dual between the two punters before Rockville appeared to break through on a touchdown pass from Orlowski to Jequon Hutchins.  The play however was nullified due to an offensive pass interference penalty. The score was tied 0-0 at halftime.

Rockville changed the scenario less than three minutes into the second half, capitalizing on a 27-yard touchdown pass from Orlowski to Wilson. Ryan Main ran in for a two-point conversion to give the Rams an 8-0 lead.

“We adjusted our blocking, and once we started to get that offensive line to block down, it opened our running lanes and then that opened up our big passes,” Taddio said.

Moments later, a high snap from center went over the head of Fermi quarterback Thomas Vella and out of the end zone, giving Rockville two points for a safety.

“We weren’t able to make critical plays in critical situations is what it ultimately came down to,” Fermi head coach James Lyver said. “There were some key plays that were 50/50 plays, and they were able to come up with them and we weren’t.”

Orlowski connected with Wilson again on a 21-yard scoring strike with less than three minutes remaining, then Wilson ran for the conversion to cap the scoring.

Wilson was all over the field for the Rams, returning a kick more than 30 yards in the first half and snagging a big interception to stop a Falcon drive.

“He’s one of our best players, he plays free safety and slot, he’s a senior and he’s one of our best athletes,” Taddio said. “As far as size, he’s a bit small compared to the other football players we play every week, but he’s got a heart of gold and he showed it tonight.”

Rockville faces a difficult task in its quest for a second straight win, traveling to Avon (4-2) on Nov. 7. The Rams then play their home finale against Tolland (2-5) on Nov. 13 before closing the schedule at its traditional Thanksgiving Day rival South Windsor (3-4).

Likewise, Fermi has strong competition ahead, hosting Rocky Hill (5-2) on Nov. 6. The Falcons close the season with a pair of road games, at Hall (3-4) on Nov. 13 and at Bloomfield (5-1) on Nov. 20.

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