DAYTON — First-half dominance led to a second-half running clock Thursday night at Welcome Stadium.
Dylan Caldwell scored all four of his touchdowns in the first 22 minutes as Ross High School’s football team improved to 4-5 by spanking Meadowdale 52-6.
“We expected to dominate them, we really did,” said Caldwell, a senior fullback who ran 19 times for 216 yards. “They didn’t seem that good on film, and they couldn’t really stop us. I do feel like I want the ball every time in a game like that, but I want my teammates to have fun too.”
WEEK 9 FOOTBALL COVERAGE
The Rams totaled 402 yards on the ground and zero yards through the air — freshman quarterback Brayden Fraasman was 0-of-2 passing — in a contest that was 40-6 on the scoreboard at halftime.
Just 3-17 the last two seasons, Ross will try to get to .500 when it closes the regular season at home against Talawanda next week. The Rams were mathematically eliminated from the Division III, Region 12 playoff hunt Friday night, according to www.joeeitel.com.
Those postseason hopes might still be alive if Ross hadn’t dropped a 21-20 decision to Northwest in Week 7. Rams coach Kenyon Commins put that defeat squarely on his shoulders after his crew earned a 307-90 yardage advantage in the losing effort.
“As you start to look at these things, we’re not going to drive the car looking in the rear-view mirror. We just can’t do it,” Commins said. “We’ve got to learn how to finish, and there’s always something to be coached up. We’ve got to be better tomorrow than we were today. That’s never going to change.
“If we start thinking about what could have and should have been, we’re going to get our teeth kicked in by Talawanda. The past is in the past. We can’t fix it. We’ve got to focus on the Braves.”
Ross scored on all six of its first-half possessions and wasn’t seriously challenged by Meadowdale.
The Lions got an 18-yard touchdown run from Jermaine Graves to get within 12-6 with 4:01 left in the first quarter, but they were limited to 56 rushing yards in falling to 2-6.
“Those kids over there played really hard,” Commins said. “Their numbers are down, but there was no quit in ’em.”
Meadowdale hasn’t had a winning season since going 6-4 in 2013. First-year Lions coach Robert Brown said the rebuilding process will take some time.
“We’re trying to change the culture and get the program back to where it’s supposed to be,” Brown said. “Sometimes you’ve got to come in and dig some stuff and resod and replant and let it grow, and that’s where we’re at right now. We’re in the growing stage.”
He was mostly pleased with his team’s effort against the Rams. Meadowdale got fumble recoveries from Daniel Cummings and Wellington Lowe.
“There’s some guys that still need to understand how we play football,” Brown said. “But I think we’re moving in the right direction.”
For Ross, Mehki Bouldin ran for two touchdowns in the fourth period and had 77 yards on six carries. Fraasman and Dylan Zimmerman also ran for scores, Caldwell and Fraasman each contributed a conversion run, and Fraasman carried the ball eight times for 59 yards.
“We did what we wanted to do,” Commins said. “We took care of the ball in the first half. Their six points kind of burned me because I think we had a little mental lapse on defense. Other than that, it was a very good half.”
Andrew Redemeier and Jude Hess recovered fumbles for the Rams. Next Friday’s game will be Senior Night, and Caldwell said he expects to be emotional. But even if that’s the end of his career, he’ll still be proud of the program’s upward movement this season.
“If we can get to 5-5, I’ll be happy with it because we were 1-9 last year,” Caldwell said. “Even though we do look at it like we could’ve been 6-4 and gone to the playoffs, that’s still really good.”
Meadowdale will face Belmont at Welcome Stadium on Thursday.
R: Dylan Caldwell 1 run (Kick failed)
R: Brayden Fraasman 3 run (Run failed)
M: Jermaine Graves 18 run (Run failed)
R: Caldwell 3 run (Caldwell run)
R: Caldwell 3 run (Fraasman run)
R: Dylan Zimmerman 10 run (Kick failed)
R: Caldwell 21 run (Kick failed)
R: Mehki Bouldin 1 run (Run failed)
R: Bouldin 35 run (Run failed)