Lacombe Rams quarterback Johnny Ericson came up clutch in the dying seconds of high school football action Thursday night at MEGlobal Athletic Park.
Ericson drove his team down the field with 50 seconds left in the game and hit Richard Jans with 19 seconds remaining on a seven yard touchdown pass. Lacombe pulled out a spectacular and gritty 22-20 win over the Lindsay Thurber Raiders.
“We hit some stuff that we knew was there all game, we just weren’t hitting it. We hit a couple of plays and got in the end zone thankfully,” Rams head coach Jason Petrie said.
It wasn’t the prettiest game with penalties, sloppy play, rain and cold weather causing more than a minor inconvenience for both sides.
Raiders Quarterback Sean Vandervlis hooked up with Wyatt Hawkes for a 45-yard score before Kaidyn Puttick punched in a short rushing touchdown in the first quarter.
Late in the second, Rams running back Zach Schwab barreled in for a four-yard TD run. The second Rams touchdown of the night was set up with a 45-yard scamper from Jans. On third and goal from the one, Ericson connected with Matt Darrnell to take a 16-13 lead.
While the middle two quarters belonged to the Rams, Vandervlis rallied his offence using his legs in the third quarter.
Lindsay Thurber wouldn’t go away quietly as Vandervlis drove them down the field using his mobility before handing the ball off to Puttick for his second TD of the night in to start the fourth quarter.
From there, both teams were stalled on offence until the final seconds.
Vandervlis finished the game 13 for 28 and 215 passing along with 63 yards rushing.
In total the Rams had 166 rushing yards and 124 through the air. Ericson was 13 for 26 with just 124 yards passing.
Petrie said his team just wasn’t clicking despite earning the win.
“Nothing was clicking. We played an exhibition game last week and we tried to use it as momentum,” Petrie said. “I thought we were firing last week a little better and the week before even. It was a hard game to get into tonight, I don’t know why. We’ll have to look at film and figure it out.”