Offense, defense come together in Monroe’s 52-14 win over Nikiski

Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 5:55 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - In what was probably just one of a few Tuesday night high school football games in the country, the Monroe Catholic Rams got an early start on week two of the season when they hosted the Nikiski Bulldogs for a Denali Conference Showdown.

It is always a good strategy to put the ball into your most dangerous player’s hands early and Monroe did just that on their very first play from scrimmage as quarterback Robert McGee found receiver Carter Barney in the flat, before the senior took it down the sidelines 40+ yards to get the Rams on the board first.

After the defense forced a punt - as they did many times throughout the contest - McGee went right back to Barney for a jump ball, where Barney came down with it, ‘Mossing’ the defender for a big gain. McGee went on to punch it in from the goal line to put the Rams up two scores early.

The Bulldogs threw a couple punches of their own, including a 97-yard haymaker from the running back that trimmed the deficit in the second quarter. It only took three plays for Monroe to gain the points back, as McGee found Barney on a slant route near midfield that went the distance for another touchdown.

Nikiski stumbled into the end zone after a lengthy drive before the half to make it just a 22-14 game heading into the break.

Whatever was said at halftime worked, as the defense forced two fumbles and did not allow the Bulldogs to sniff the end zone with a shutout, while the offense found pay dirt four more times in the trouncing.

“We just knew it was sloppy and we had to pick up,” McGee said of the first half. “We just played four, five days ago, but we just had to pick it up and we had to keep it going once we started it. We had our talk, we had our rest, and we just knew we had to dial in and pick it up.”

McGee threw for over 300 yards and 5 touchdowns - three to Barney and two to Evan Puryear - and rushed for over 100 yards and two scores, topping off the brilliant performance with a fumble recovery and a tipped punt.

With the game early in the week, the Rams (2-0) will have 10 days off before visiting the Eielson Ravens on August 28 at 1 p.m.

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