Murrieta Mesa Bounces Back With 31-14 Victory

By Alex Sims The Murrieta Mesa High School Rams flexed their football muscle and won an important Southwestern League game over Temecula...

By Alex Sims

The Murrieta Mesa High School Rams flexed their football muscle and won an important Southwestern League game over Temecula Valley Friday night, 31-14. The Rams improved their record to 4-3 overall and evened their league record at 1-1, bouncing back from a loss to rival Murrieta Valley last week.

The Rams showed up in all areas: offense, defense and special teams. The defensive strength of the Rams showed first, stalling the Golden Bears and forcing them to punt early in the first quarter. Then senior quarterback Peyton Uhl drove the Rams downfield and capped the drive with a 38-yard scramble for a touchdown with 8:54 left in the first period.

The Rams defense went back to work and stifled Temecula Valley. No other scores were made by either side in the first quarter.

Midway through the second quarter, the Golden Bears started to show signs of life and completed a 33-yard catch and run Zak Simon, which led to a quarterback sneak for Vincent Bowes for a TD with 7:40 left in the second period, tying the score at 7.

The ensuing kickoff was returned 65 yards by Mesa's Giovanni Sanders. That set up Mckinley Ross for a 7-yard go-ahead touchdown with 6:26 left in the second quarter. Temecula Valley fought back, but stalled and attempted a field goal. With 36 seconds left, Maxwell Scott put an end to the Golden Bears' attempt by blocking the field goal.

Coming out for the third quarter, the Ram offense was stopped and had to punt. Just when Temecula Valley started to get a rhythm, Mesa's Scott intercepted a pass by Bowes in the end zone with 5:47 left in the third.

The ensuing drive from the Rams was textbook. Uhl demonstrated why he is a starting QB for the Rams, directing the team downfield in a businesslike approach. He completed a 29-yard pass to Jacob Ray, helped with a block on a 25-yard run by Ross, and ran it in for a touchdown of 20 yards.

On Temecula Valley's next drive, they began where the left off, having a rhythmic drive downfield. This again was stopped by Scott, who picked up his second interception on the night with 3:16 left in the third quarter. The Rams drove downfield without hesitation, capping the drive with a 4-yard TD run by Kai Thompson.

Rams captain Mateo Thompson later kicked a 51-yard field goal.

"This was probably one of the most complete and efficient games we have played all season, in all three phases," said coach Justin Schaeffer. "We talked about it this week, about bouncing back from a big loss. I'm proud of what they did tonight."

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