Next Man Up

McCarroll+runs+into+the+secondary+%28ran+for+over+200+yards+on+the+day%29.+

Caroline Romero

McCarroll runs into the secondary (ran for over 200 yards on the day).

Last Saturday (October 20th, 2014), the Lodi Rams defeated the Manchester Falcons 41-20. After two straight blow-out losses, the Rams finally got it together on both sides of the ball. The story of the day was centered around someone who wasn’t playing though.

Running back Jesse Asare was inactive for the game, leading the way for Steven Villa and Dante McCarroll to scorch the Manchester defense. Villa ran for over 100 yards (including a 51-yard touchdown early in the first quarter), while McCarroll tore it up with over 200 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. The first one came from 3 yards out and the second one was a 54 yarder that put the nail in the coffin for Manchester.

Villa commented on his expanded role with, “I had some butterflies but it was because of the excitement. I felt confident to bring my game.” McCarroll was also asked the same question. “I knew the team needed me and the only thing I could do is step  up and play. Nothing else matters when I’m on the field. Thinking in a game like this can hurt you; it’s reacting that wins it.”

As the running game carried the load, quarterback Johnny Calabrese threw for three touchdowns on the day. Two of the scores went to wide receiver Aaron Bell and the other went to fullback Cole Villacis. The defense forced two turnovers with an interception by safety Javier Lopez and a fumble recovery by Brandon Calvo.

Injuries came barring the win. LG (left guard) Michael Wilson re-aggravated his injured ankle, but should be fine to practice this week, and RG (right guard) Matt Leto suffered a very bad elbow sprain that will keep him out of practice till Thursday.

Lodi’s next match up is their annual Homecoming game against Palisades Park as they’ll try to improve upon their 3-3 record and go above .500.