Rams Dropped by American River, Suffer Second Straight Loss


Photo by: Patrick Henslee

Rams head coach Tony Caviglia meets on the sidelines with referees during a timeout in the Rams’ game against American River College on Oct. 5, 2019. The Rams went on to lose the game by a score of 9-3.

The Fresno City College Rams’ suffered their second straight loss on Saturday night against the American River College Beavers, dropping to 3-2 on the year. The Rams were held to only three points for the second straight week.

“We’ve just got to sustain drives,” head coach Tony Caviglia said following the loss.

After starting the season 3-0, the Rams have fallen on hard times, failing to score more than a field goal since their thrilling 13-10 win over Butte College in September.

Sophomore quarterback Jonah Johnson’s struggles continued, although this week the narrative was changed from dropped passes to tight coverage, with Rams’ receivers being bogged down by Beaver defenders for much of the night.

Johnson ended the evening with less than 100 yards, only able to throw for 90, going 12-21 on passing, with zero touchdowns and a pair of interceptions.

The quarterback also ran seven times, only totalling six yards and zero touchdowns.

“We’ve been injured for two weeks, especially on the offensive line,” Caviglia said. “But everybody’s injured this time of year; that’s not an excuse. If we’re on the field we’ve gotta play better.”

Caviglia is hopeful that with the bye week upcoming before the Rams dive into conference play some of the injuries are able to begin to alleviate themselves naturally.

Offensively, the bright spot came in the rushing game, with sophomore tailback Rico Rosario leading the charge, picking up 94 yards on 16 attempts in the game. He leads all active Rams rushers with 279 yards, despite not reaching the end zone yet this year.

Despite the loss, the Rams’ defense came ready to play Saturday, combining for interceptions between freshmen defensive backs Chad Brown and Tremell Harrell and sophomore DeAndre Lockhart.

“Defensively we’ve been playing really good football,” Caviglia said. “We’ve given up a few plays in key situations that can’t happen, but our defense is playing good enough to win.”

One of the plays that the defense wishes they could have back came on the very first drive for the Beavers, when sophomore quarterback Marco Baldacchino connected with Sivonte Jordan for a seven yard touchdown. The point after try however was missed, keeping the score at 6-0 until the Beavers were able to score on a field goal midway through the second quarter.

Nine points allowed in a 60-minute game is definitely impressive, as the Rams’ defense surged to the tune of 4 sacks, 3 interceptions and 8 tackles-for-loss, led by sophomore linebacker Cam Lamanuzzi, who had 10 total tackles on the night.

Star sophomore linebacker Toa Scanlan also recorded six tackles including two sacks, bringing his sack total on the season to four, trailing Valley Conference leaders sophomore linebackers Andrew Farley of San Joaquin Delta and Sam Brooks of Sacramento City College, who each have five sacks on the season.

The Rams also saw a season-high 13 penalties, totalling 109 yards during the loss to the Beavers. The 13 penalties were the most in a Rams’ game since the team committed 15 penalties in a 44-28 win over Modesto in 2017.

Moving forward however, Caviglia is optimistic. Following a bye week, the Rams will open conference play by going on the road to take on San Joaquin Delta College on Oct. 19.

“We’ve got our second season,” Caviglia said in reference to conference play beginning. “We have a five-game season and it’s the most important season.”

The Rams will open conference play on the road, first facing the San Joaquin Delta Mustangs (2-3).

The conference is currently led by Modesto, who defeated American River 38-20 on Sept. 28.

“We have to get refocused and thank God we’ve got a bye week, number one to get healthy number two to get refocused,” Caviglia said about the upcoming weeks and preparing for tough conference play. “We need to take a look at all of our systems and make sure we’re putting guys in the right spots and then get ready for league, ‘cause our league is tough.”

The Rams will return home following their game against San Joaquin Delta to take on the Sacramento City College Panthers on Oct. 26, 2019 at 1 p.m.