Coach Justin Schaeffer has brought his Rams a very long way quickly these past few seasons.
Starting a new program in 2009, Schaeffer has worked to develop his young football players into winners. Murrieta Mesa is now ranked 20th in its division. Coach Schaeffer has instilled a winning aura of confidence and determination in the Rams.
Mesa’s record was 7-15 over its first three years. Schaeffer’s Rams are undefeated this season, starting league play a perfect 5-0.
All eyes are on the Rams as they take on the mighty Pumas from Chaparral.
One thing is for certain: Mesa can score points. Led by Chase Chambers, The Press Enterprise's pick for Best Quarterback in the league, the Rams average 321 yards in the air. Mesa scores 50 points a game. Chambers has thrown for 21 touchdowns.
His receivers are Khalil Sharpe, Gilbert Toves, Parker Erickson and Daniel Castro. Chambers has spread the ball around this season making it difficult for defenders to key on a few players. As everyone knows, the Ram offense can change the game in a “Murrieta Minute."
The Rams can run the ball too, averaging 164 yards a game. The workhorses on the ground have been Kyler Vasquez and Israel Alfaro. They run through holes created by a very disciplined offensive line.
The Pumas come into the contest at 4-1, averaging 38 points while passing for 115 yards a game. Coach Ryan Tukua has Chaparral back on track after suffering their only loss against Tesoro two weeks ago.
Predominately a running offense, the Pumas have pounded out an average of 239 yards on the ground. Justin Harris, quarterback Kellen Mataafa and Skyler Seibold are the primary Puma running backs.
Asked how to contain the Puma running attack, Coach Schaeffer replied “tackle, tackle, tackle!"
Good defense will be key. With the prolific offense that the Rams have, it’s easy for the Defense to get taken for granted. They can get the job done.
The leaders of the Ram D are senior linebackers Dallin Inman and Clayton Willis. Murrieta Mesa has only given up 88 points this season, 47 of those to Tahquitz in a wild shootout that the Rams won 60-47. This is a very underrated defensive unit.
Chandler Woodward, Nick Tejada, Bryson Bridges, Garrett Andrews, Wesley Scott, Davian Neitz, Alec Salcedo, Dylan McDonald and Billy Montoya round out the rest of the Ram starters on defense.
Game time is 7 p.m. this Friday night at Ram Stadium. Come out and support the Rams in their quest for their first league victory.