Ross mauls Monroe for first ever playoff win

The Ross Rams, shown here vs. Badin on Friday, August 28, 2020, routed Monroe 52-14 on Friday night for its first-ever playoff win. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

ROSS TWP. -- Drawing a first-round bye meant the Ross Rams had to wait an extra week before making their 2020 high school football playoff debut.

Making history made the wait worthwhile.

Ross threw just one pass while piling up 522 yards of total offense, all on the ground, on its way to a 52-14 win over the Monroe Hornets in the second round of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division III, Region 12 playoffs Friday at Henry Robinson Field.

Seniors C.J. Boze and Jackson Gifford and junior Brayden Fraasman each scored two touchdowns for Ross (6-1), which logged the program’s first postseason win in its eighth appearance.

“It feels great,” said senior offensive lineman and team captain Kaden Rogers, a team captain and Ohio University commit. “We’re ready to make more next week.”

Fifth-seeded Ross will travel to New Richmond to play the fourt-seeded Lions (5-2) next Friday. New Richmond advanced with a win over 20th-seeded Goshen (3-5).

The Rams have scored at least 35 points in each of their last six games – all wins since a 41-7 loss to Badin in the seasonopener. Gifford gained 190 yards on 14 carries against 21st-seeded Monroe (3-5), while Boze added 170 yards on 17 carries and Fraasman 110 yards on seven carries, including 67 on a touchdown run on Ross’s first play of the second half that included a nifty spin move along the sideline. That score gave Ross a 38-7 lead and sent the game to a running clock.

“We made some big plays, especially Fraasman going about 90 yards,” Rogers said.

“Everything was rolling, especially with the way the offensive line played,” Gifford added.

Ross scored six touchdowns and one field goal in its first eight possessions while efficiently building its insurmountable lead on the way to a fifth straight win in the series against Monroe.

“Heading into the week, I think we had scored on 22 of our last 23 possessions,” Ross coach Kenyon Commins said.

The Hornets got a 51-yard touchdown pass from senior Collin Deaton over the middle to wide-open sophomore tight end Konnor Loper in the first quarter and junior quarterback Alex Pitsch’s 4-yard touchdown run with less than three minutes remaining following sophomore linebacker Wyatt McPherson’s recovery of a Ross fumble.

Senior Ben Breaker’s interception set up Gifford’s first touchdown with 5:11 left in the second quarter. Gifford added a second score before senior Brandon Vadnais nailed a 35-yard field goal as time expired in the first half. The Rams scored on the final play of the first half and the first play of the second half.

“Talk about being explosive,” Commins said.

After junior Dylan Hammons recovered a Monroe fumble on a Ross kickoff, sophomore Jaye Warren added a 15-yard touchdown run for the Rams, who averaged 11.6 yards per rush.

“We had the bye week, and I think you saw some rust at the beginning,” Commins said. “We had some uncharacteristic drops. We had a lot of motivation coming into the game. We were happy with how they played, all the way around.”

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