If the first two minutes and a two-score lead over Robinson seemed like a dream for the Titans, the remaining 46 minutes became a nightmare.
The Rams erased a 13-0 deficit by scoring 27 uncontested points en route to a 27-13 victory at Parker-Gray Memorial Stadium in Alexandria on Saturday afternoon.
“We scored 13 quick points and then everything just shifted,” said senior Za’Quan Summers.
After a 72-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Alec Grosser to Summers on the game’s first play, the Titans (1-2) capitalized on a Robinson fumble with Grosser’s second scoring pass of the day, a 5-yard toss to Jamal Williams.
From that point, the Rams (1-2) used a methodical running game and benefitted from numerous Titans’ penalties to control the game on both sides of the ball.
The effort by the Rams, who were 0-2 and coming off a 17-7 loss at home to West Springfield last week, was not surprising for senior running back Tyrek Worrell.
“We lost last week at home and we couldn’t come here and lose again,” said Worrell. “We had to prove ourselves to get respect back from last week.”
The Rams scored their first touchdown of the afternoon on senior quarterback Michael Hugney’s 1-yard run. Worrell and Hugney dominated the 10-play drive that did not include a single passing attempt. The drive was also assisted by two defensive offside penalties from the Titans.
It was a problem that plagued the Titans all afternoon, as they were called for seven defensive offsides penalties.
“That’s a lot of free yards,” said Titans coach Dennis Randolph. “Especially in critical situations, instead of first-and-10 you are giving them first-and-5.”
The Rams’ ball-control offense gave the Titans problems the rest of the afternoon.
“They had three drives where they just marched down the field and scored,” said Randolph. “We didn’t stop them at all.”
A 61-yard run by Worrell gave the Rams the lead for good at 14-13 midway through the second quarter.
According to Worrell, the Rams knew they could gain yards on the ground against the Titans.
“My coach realized we had more opportunities to go outside with the run,” said Worrell. “So that’s what really got us the points.”
Worrell’s second TD of the afternoon pushed the Rams’ lead to 21-13 just before the half.
The Titans seemed to catch a break early in the second half when they recovered a Robinson fumble, but were unable to capitalize. The offense was once again held to three plays and a punt. The drive was the fourth out of the Titans' previous five that ended in a three-and-out.
“It’s all about confidence,” said Randolph. “The kids gotta have confidence to make third-down plays. We got in situations where we didn’t.”
Robinson was able to force the Titans away from a running game that was considered a strength heading into the season. Summers was not ready to give all the credit to the defense.
“I was getting shut down,” said Summers. “It was a lack of execution and discipline. We need to execute and work harder.”
Hugney hit senior tight end Nate Foote on a 12-yard touchdown pass with just over eight minutes left in the third quarter to put the Rams up 27-13.
At the end of the game, Randolph didn’t have any answers for his team’s struggles.
“Whatever the problem was we had, it was team wide,” said Randolph. “It wasn’t just the defense or the offense."
T.C. Williams returns to action Friday night when it travels to South County. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.