Rams Shut Out Siskiyous in First 2019 Home Win


Photo by: Derek Bullis

JJ Espinosa lays out to make a spectacular catch during the third quarter of the Rams’ 49-0 win over Siskiyous on Sept. 14, 2019.

Story By: Ben Hensley, Sports Editor

Rams’ football is off to a hot start following their 49-0 shutout win over the Siskiyous College Eagles in the Rams’ home opener on Sept. 14, 2019.

Sophomore quarterback Jonah Johnson went 19 of 28 passing for 157 yards and three touchdowns, extending his streak of pass attempts without an interception to 97. Johnson also ran for a touchdown.

The Rams had a great day on the ground as a team, rushing for 231 total yards, led by the efforts of sophomore running back Obrien Selby who rushed for 67 yards and a touchdown on the afternoon.

Following a first half that saw Johnson go 10 of 19 passing due to multiple dropped passes, the Rams’ offense buckled down in the second half, with Johnson going 9 of 9 and the Rams putting additional focus on the running game to drain the clock out.

“They did some things that are really tough for us,” head coach Tony Caviglia said of the Siskiyous defense in the first half of the game. “They put a bunch of guys in the box and it took us a while to get adjusted to how they play, and once we did our guys did a great job.”

Defensively, the Eagles put up a fight in the first half, holding the Rams to 14 points before a punt return by sophomore wide receiver Michael Gates set up a Johnson touchdown pass to Gates, bringing the score to 21-0 prior to halftime.

The Eagles were never able to get the ball moving, limiting sophomore quarterback Thairen Sivongsa to only 22 yards through the air, going 3 for 14 passing. On the ground, the Rams were just as stout, limiting the Eagles to just 67 yards rushing, with no touchdowns and one lost fumble.

Defensively, the Rams had four interceptions, two of which ending up in the hands of freshman defensive back Chad Brown. The Rams also forced one fumble on the day, which set up a 33 yard touchdown run by Selby.

“We’ve got a good secondary, and when that ball is in the air we’re going to go get it,” Caviglia said, giving credit to the Rams’ defensive effort on the day.

“Any time you get four interceptions, you’re going to feel good.”

The 49 points put up by the Rams matches the most points scored by the Rams last season, when they also put up 49 against the San Joaquin Delta Mustangs, and was the most since the Rams’ 56-7 win over Reedley in 2016.

“I just thought the defense played real good from start to finish. We got a shutout which is hard to do against a quality team like Siskiyous.”

With the win, the 2-0 Rams travel north to play the Butte Roadrunners in Chico.

“We’re in a gauntlet right now in our next three games,” Caviglia said. “We’ve got Butte, San Mateo and American River.”

The Rams split the season series with Butte last fall, falling to them 17-7 before defeating them 29-26 in the playoffs.

The next home game for the Rams will be on Sept. 28, when they take on the San Mateo Bulldogs at Ratcliffe Stadium at 6 p.m.