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RAMS MAKE PLAYOFFS BY BEATING TITANS, 21-7

SHARE RAMS MAKE PLAYOFFS BY BEATING TITANS, 21-7

What is it they say about not succeeding the first time around? The Highland Rams got a second chance Tuesday against Olympus and made the most of it, taking a 21-7 decision over the Titans in a 4A preliminary playoff at Skyline.

The last time these two teams met in September, Highland's scoring consisted of a Mark Dahl field goal as the Rams lost, 6-3.This time, Highland figured out how to score against Olympus, earning the right to play Bonneville on Saturday at 3 p.m. in the first round of the 4A state playoffs.

"We're just glad to be in the tournament," a relieved Highland Coach Tom Kingsford said. "It's a tough league we play in, and we feel fortunate to get in."

He wasn't exactly pleased with his team's performance, but the Rams got 21 first-half points and were able to coast to the win.

"We turned the ball over one too many times, and we've got to stay way from the turnovers. We can't afford to give TDs away," Kingsford added.

The only Olympus score came in the third quarter after linebacker Thayne Sweeten recovered a James Adamson fumble at the Highland 40. Olympus showed signs of getting back in the game when Jim Hoggan scored on a 5-yard pitch, narrowing the Rams' lead to 21-7.

Although Kingsford was concerned with Highland's turnovers, Olympus' miscues stopped it from making another serious threat.

After going ahead 8-0 on an Adamson 1-yard dive and a 2-point conversion by Chris Thomas, the Rams got their second touchdown as the result of a Tyler Wright fumble that defensive end Ross McQuivey scooped up at Olympus' 29. Two plays later Casey Knowlton went for 12 yards, then followed that with a 5-yarder that put him in the end zone and gave Highland a 15-0 lead.

The Rams scored their last touchdown a minute later when Highland defensive back Jim Larson picked off a John Smith pass in the right flat and returned it 23 yards for the touchdown. When he wasn't intercepting passes, Larson was quarterbacking Highland's wishbone. His 29-yard keeper set up Highland's first touchdown.

"We came to play Olympus today. We were not vindictive. They were the better team the first time and I guess we were the better team today," Kingsford said.

As good as Highland looked in the first half, the Rams couldn't put any points on the board in the final two quarters, causing Kingsford a little concern. After all, he has three days to prepare for the Lakers, the No. 3-ranked team in the state.

"I hope we didn't relax in the second half," he said. "We haven't played a full game yet this year."

3A preliminary playoff

Cedar City 20, Spanish Fork 6: Playing without injured quarterback Eric Garrett, backup QB Eric Blacker led the Redmen to touchdowns in each of the first three quarters to hold off the Dons. Saturday, Cedar City will play at Emery at 1 p.m. in the first round of the 3A state playoffs.

Jarom Tripp opened the Redmen's scoring with a 1-yard TD run in the first period, then followed it up with a 4-yard scoring run toward the end of the half. Defensive back Troy Sandberg returned a Spanish Fork fumble 45 yards for Cedar's final touchdown.