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KNIGHTS GRAB FIRST WIN OVER RAMS

The DLX Knights picked up their first win in any Miller League Football game after taking down the Cars Plus Rams Friday night at the Hal Shiroma Field in Dededo.

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By Robert Balajadia

The DLX Knights picked up their first win in any Miller League Football game after taking down the Cars Plus Rams Friday night, 14-7 at the Hal Shiroma Field in Dededo. The Knights end a four-year drought after the “team in red” endured winless seasons.

“I’m so very proud of everyone who stepped up and played hard tonight,” said Knights’ head coach Jacob Dowdell. “It’s been a long time coming, four years since the ‘red team’ won a game. They could’ve given into the old mentality and believe they weren’t supposed to win a game, but they showed a lot of heart across the board.”

The Knights used a 14-0 second half to upend the reeling Rams, including a late defensive stand sacking Rams quarterback J.J. McCloud to give the Knights possession of the ball with less than 50 seconds in the game and no timeouts left for the Rams to stop the clock.

The Rams needed to put together a 92-yard scoring drive with less than two minutes left in the game headed by McCloud. On third and long, McCloud hit receiver Danny Cepeda for 28 yards to kick start what seemed to be a late rally by the Rams.

McCloud then tossed a 14-yard dart to receiver Tyler Santos to get to the 50-yard line.

Knights’ Ashton Adams had been great all game long and came through with a big pass deflection at the line of scrimmage to set up a Rams fourth down with the game on the line.

McCloud tried to create space scrambling out of the pocket for a deep throw but was instantly met by  Knights’ Matagi Toia who dragged down McCloud along with late arriving teammate Raul Bryand to give the Knights possession of the ball with a chance to kneel out the rest of the clock.

“We have a great coaching staff and they helped me out,” said Dowdell on his second half adjustments.

The Rams scored first in the second quarter after McCloud hit a wide open Santos who dove in for end zone after escaping a Knights’ defensive back. Jason Baza converted on the PAT giving the Rams an early 7-0 lead.

Knights' running back Adrian Davis attempts to break loose. (GSPN photo)

Knights’ running back Adrian Davis attempts to break loose. (GSPN photo)

DLX recaptured momentum right when the second half kicked off as kick returner Adrian Davis nearly scored on the return going 56 yards before being tackled by the Rams kicker Dylan Naputi.

The Knights then used a flurry of running plays before finally punching in a quarterback sneak play behind defensive end Alejandro Simon. The successful 2-point conversion from Knights’ quarterback Corey Chinn to receiver Malcolm Walker gave the Knights the lead at 8-7.

McCloud then took a spill that required him to leave the field for the remainder of the quarter where the Knights’ defense forced a punt on the Rams following offensive series. The defensive stop provided the Knights’ running attack with another red zone trip where Toia punched in another score from four yards out to go up 14-7.

The Rams forced a turnover on downs late in the game fueled by Cepeda’s play in the secondary, but the comeback fell short dropping the Rams to (0-3) on the season while the Knights improve to a career best (1-2).

Sunday, the two undefeated teams in the Pepsi Warriors and IP&E Angels will square off for the first time this season.

PHOTO GALLERY

Knights' defensive back Gavin West defends a pass. (GSPN photo)

Knights’ defensive back Gavin West defends a pass. (GSPN photo)

Rams quarterback JJ McCloud stumbles on the play against the closing speed of the Knights' defense which resulted in a brief exit from the field. (GSPN photo)

Rams quarterback JJ McCloud stumbles on the play against the closing speed of the Knights’ defense which resulted in a brief exit from the field. (GSPN photo)

Knights' Adrian Davis returns the second half kickoff 56 yards.

Knights’ Adrian Davis returns the second half kickoff 56 yards.

Rams Joseph Mataeo looks for an opening. (GSPN photo)

Rams Joseph Mateo looks for an opening. (GSPN photo)

The Rams defense celebrates after Frank Fernandez sacks Knights' Corey Chinn. (GSPN photo)

The Rams defense celebrates after Frank Fernandez sacks Knights’ Corey Chinn. (GSPN photo)

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