Thursday Night Spotlight: Blair at Temple City


Tonight’s Game with Predictions:

Blair at Temple City, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Temple City); Lair (Temple City)

Temple City had its chances to head into this game at 1-0 in Rio Hondo League play. But the Rams didn’t do themselves any favors. They had four trips in the red zone and came out of it with only seven points. Temple City had a final chance to tie the score with a TD and win with a converted PAT, but the Rams didn’t get that far, overthrowing the intended receivers in the end zone.

I wonder if Joey Stewart better serves the Rams offense playing running back rather than fullback. I might swing by to this game to check it out. Our Nathan Cambridge will cover the game for the paper. It’s nice to just get out and watch as a fan, for once.

Temple City (2-4, 0-1) will try to bounce back tonight at 7 against Blair (0-1, 1-4). The Vikings’ lone win is a forfeit after Millennium canceled its game because of a lack of money for traveling expenses.

Last season, Blair shared the league title but the Vikings got off to a rocky start this season largely in part because of key player departures.

Taking on Blair the second game of the league season just may be what Temple City needs: a game in which it can score points and get its confidence up as it heads into the meaty part of its schedule.

The Vikings have scored just 18 points in four games combined.

Rams coach Randy Backus, however, exercised caution against discounting the struggling Vikings.

“You can’t,” Backus said. “They just haven’t put it all together. Three great plays followed by a bad play or a big run nullified by a penalty; sooner or later they’ll get that (offense) going. That can be scary.”

Temple City still is trying to figure out its offense, too.

Running back Joey Stewart has been shifted to fullback where Backus said the Rams have needed better production.

“He’s doing great,” Backus said of Stewart. “We’re getting great lead blocks and he’s carrying the ball for about four yards a game. He’s a threat out of the backfield.”

Max Ruckle has taken over at tailback. Ruckle and Stewart have showed signs they belong there, but Stewart thrives when he carries the ball more as the game wears on.

“They both work well together when we go to split backs,” Backus said. “They block well for each other and put the goal of the team first instead of individual statistics.”

Playing fullback is nothing new to Stewart, who played there as a sophomore. He missed parts of last season with a knee injury, but he played fullback near the end of the season.

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