Rams Close Out Season with 8 Straight Wins After Thanksgiving Eve Win Over Panthers
ROSELLE, NJ – There was plenty to be thankful for at Arminio Field in Roselle on this Thanksgiving Eve. The Roselle Rams didn’t waste much time in notching its 8th straight win to close out the 2022 season. The Rams rolled out a 30-0 lead into halftime, and added two more scores in the third quarter to defeat Roselle Park, 44-2.
The victory was the third straight and 5th in the last 6 meetings for the Rams in the series. Roselle Park still leads the annual Turkey Day rivalry with a mark of 53-44-8. As a team, Roselle rushed 27 times for 370 yards, and 6 TDs. The Rams averaged 13.7 yards per carry in the contest. Running back Nafee Finney rushed only 3 times for the Rams, but ended up with 112 yards and 2 TDs on the night.
Samir Rivel rushed for 89 yards on 5 carries and a TD. QB William Peay rushed 5 times for 54 yards and another score. Senior RB, Emmanuel Lyles laid the ground work for the rushing attack with 113 yards on 13 carries including a 50 yard jaunt to the end zone for the Rams’ final TD of the game. Even lineman Jaydin Fils-Aime got into the act with a two yard run following a Rivel run about 40 yards to the Roselle Park two in the third.
Roselle Park’s only points of the game came late in the fourth quarter on a safety when Darren Chen tackled a Roselle player in the end zone. Senior RB Elijah Ignacio and junior WR Dylan George were bright spots in defeat for the Panthers. Roselle didn’t waste much time putting this one away either.
After stopping Roselle Park on its first offensive possession, the Rams scored on a 43 yard TD run to the right and toward the Roselle sideline by Finney for a 7-0 lead with 6:42 to go in the first quarter. Following another short offensive possession by the Panthers, Roselle got the ball again, and went in reverse for a bit before scoring again in the waning moments of the opening period.
Overcoming a penalty, the Rams scored with 7.3 seconds remaining when Finney got his hands on the ball again during a 3rd and 22 play, and scampered 69 yards up the Roselle sideline for his second and final TD of the night, and a 14-0 lead. Roselle kept its foot on the gas by first putting together another quick defensive series followed by another scoring drive capped by a 10 yard TD run by Rivel with 6:03 to play in the half.
On the ensuing kickoff, Roselle managed to pin Roselle Park deep in its own territory, and then Owen Delice tackled a Panthers player in the end zone for a safety and a 23-0 lead. After receiving the free kick, Roselle scored again several plays later at the 3:19 mark on a 29 yard TD run by QB Peay, who had played at Roselle Park last year. The Rams maintained its 30-0 lead as the two teams went to halftime.
Roselle picked up right where it left off at the beginning of the third quarter. After receiving the second half kickoff, the Rams moved down the field with ease. Rivel highlighted the scoring drive with a 40 yard jaunt to the Roselle Park two yard line. Two plays later, Fils-Aime fulfilled a lineman’s dream when he took it up the middle for a TD, and a 37-0 lead with less than three minutes gone by in the third.
Lyles, a three year starter for the Rams, was finally rewarded for his yeoman like effort when he took the handoff, broke through the line, found daylight, and sprinted 50 yards into the end zone for a 44-0 lead with 2:31 remaining in the third. Roselle Park did move the ball well over the games final 10 minutes or so, but fumbled away a chance to score in the fourth before collecting its safety from Chen.
Following an 0-4 start, Roselle won its last eight games including the NJSIAA South Group 2 Invitational Championship over Haddon Heights two weeks ago, and now the Bronze Boot Trophy to finish 2022 at 8-4. Roselle Park, which was 1-9 a year ago, finished the season at 5-6 after losing its last two games. The Panthers had lost to Glen Ridge (35-20) in the North Group 1 Invitational semifinal three weeks ago.