To say this has been a frustrating football season for Gordon would be an understatement. The Rams (1-6, 1-5) lost their sixth straight 21-6 to De La Salle last Saturday at Luther North.
Gerrick Ratliff rushed for 217 yards and two touchdowns to keep the Meteors (3-4, 3-3) in the hunt for a bid to the state playoffs.
Gordon’s season started with 31 talented juniors and a 28-24 win over Leo. Things have changed dramatically for the Rams who have now lost six straight.
This season has been an improvement over last year; in 2009 the Rams finished 3-6 and allowed 265 points.
“I thought we would do better,” said Gordon head coach Bill Jeske. “There is some talent. I really thought going into this season, we would be in the state playoffs. I’m not disappointed with the effort. I’m disappointed with the record. The future looks bright for us.”
Gordon changed to a run-oriented offense and had limited success scoring only 67 points while trying to operate against eight-man lines. The Rams were held to 106 yards in the loss to De LaSalle.
The Rams have been hurt by the big play all season. Ratliff started his 200-yard afternoon by scoring on a 69-yard run.
“We don’t have a lot of guys,” admitted Jeske. “You have to realize you don’t have a lot of guys and you can’t take a moment off. We play hard then take a moment off or a play off and we bleed from it.”
The Meteors ruined Senior Day by jumping out to a 14-0 lead in the opening quarter. Ratliff scored on the third play from scrimmage, and quarterback Juwan Martin scored on a two-yard run after a fumble by Gordon’s Julian Russell.
The Rams responded in the second quarter on a 17-yard run by Russell to narrow the margin to 14-6.
De La Salle’s defense dominated in the second half limiting the Rams to only 22 yards of total offense.
The news wasn’t all bad as Gordon has made strides in the passing game. Russell completed three short passes for 26 yards.
De La Salle has struggled this season after advancing to the Class 6A quarterfinals in 2009 where they were beaten by eventual champ Cary Grove 42-0.
Ratliff sealed the win with a 52-yard run to begin the fourth quarter.
“He’s a stud,” said Jeske who was impressed with the performance by Ratliff who is a senior. “He does everything. Going into the season, if there was a preseason pick for the Heisman in the Catholic League, he would have been the pick. He’s a great teammate and a very coachable kid. I think he has a bright future. He’s very good.”
Bishop McNamara(6-1) is closing on the section title while St. Ignatius(5-2) may make the state playoffs for the first time in school history.
Gordon led by seniors Marty Haderlein, Fuhad Akinbiyi, Tramel Westbrook, Deandre Reese, and Brian Oeun will close the season against Loyola (6-1) and St Joseph (0-7).
“We played very hard this year,” added Jeske. “It’s a compliment to the kids and a reflection of the program that we have played hard every game. The only game we wren’t in was Bishop Mc Namara.”