By Rob Everingham
JOPLIN It was a high scoring affair Saturday as the J-I Rams met up with the Heart Butte Warriors in Northern C Six-man football action.
It was the Rams proving to be too much for Heart Butte as they pulled out an 81-46 win in a game that saw 20 touchdowns.
J-I came out ready to play and struck early and quick as Eric Sundgren ran the ball 18 yards for the Rams first score of the afternoon.
Curtis May then caught a 25-yard pass from Jeremiah Johnson to put J-I on top 14-0. The Warriors ensuing drive ended in a punt which was blocked by J-I, and Bryce Henke picked up the loose ball and ran it back 45 yards for the score.
J-I scored once more in the first quarter as Heart Buttes quarterback tried to lateral the ball in the end zone. A heads-up play by Curtis Lineweaver gave the Rams a 26-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, J-Is initial drive was stopped on an interception by Heart Butte who took the ball down the field and made it into the end zone. However, the touchdown was called back and on fourth down, the Warriors found the end zone again.
Heart Butte scored again in the second as Wayne Racine found a wide-open Stewart Horne on a 60-yard passing play for the score. J-I did score once in the second quarter as Sundgren ran the ball in from two yards out. The touchdown put the Rams up 33-13 at the half.
Sundgren started the second half on fire as he ran the ball 50 yards from the line of scrimmage for the score. Heart Butte answered, though, as Racine caught a C.J. Aimsback pass.
Jeremy May then took his turn as he found the end zone. May caught a 35-yard pass from Johnson. Heart Butte then threatened but had a large gain called back due to a penalty. Racine then found himself in the end zone and was called for intentional grounding which gave J-I a safety.
Sundgren scored again in the third as he ran in from 18 yards out. Heart Butte answered in the third as Racine found Aimsback on a 65-yard strike. The Rams scored once more in the third as Johnson hooked up with Jeremy May, this time for a 40-yard pass for the score.
The action was far from over as both teams scored three times in the fourth quarter. Jeremy May started things by catching a 15-yard pass. Then C. May found the end zone on a 20-yard pass from Johnson. J-Is final score in the game came on a 60-yard run by Mitch Johnson that left Heart Butte players down all over the field.
J-I coach Tom Degel said he was very pleased with how his team played. He said it was finally nice to see them be able to get their running game going.
This is the best weve run the ball all season, Degel said.
Degel gave tons of credit to Heart Butte and said it was probably the toughest defense and best quarterback they have seen yet this season.
Next up for the Rams is defending six-man state champion Blue Sky. Degel said he hopes his team can be respectable and give the Eagles a hard-fought game.