Playing for Playoffs: Rampart hosts rival Air Academy

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With just two regular season games left, playoffs are on the line Friday night for the Rampart Rams as they host rival Air Academy.

“We want to win out,” senior tight end and defensive lineman Bryce Delahoy said. “We have to win out to make the playoffs. If we don’t win out, we’re out.” 

At 6-2 this season, the Kadets are having their best season in a decade. They sit 19th in the 4A RPI standings. The Rams are 18th, and only the top 16 make the postseason.

“They’re going to come out fighting just because we heard what their coaches said about us being their super bowl,” Delahoy said.

“We’ve won league the last two years, and I think every team comes out and it’s always a big game for them,” senior offensive lineman Nate Phillips said. “We have a target on our backs and we’ve had a target on our backs for a while now, so I think it’s the same as every other week. We going to come out and we’ve got to play our best game to win.”  

The Kadets are tasked with stopping one of 4A’s top rushing attacks. The two-time defending league champ Rams average 305 yards on the ground and 35.5 points per game.

“I think a lot of us have been playing for a long time and we have really good communication up front and in the backfield, and we have running backs and quarterbacks that run hard,” Phillips said. “We know our scheme and we know what we’re going to do.”  

“You go in with the mindset of we’re going to win, not we hope we win, and then when you go in with that mindset, we just run all over everybody,” Delahoy said. “It’s fun.”

The Rams said their playoff mentality started a few weeks ago, since league champs earn an autobid into the postseason.

“Ever since we started league, it’s win and you’re in, so the last four weeks have been all playoffs game for us,” Phillips said. “This is our fourth round of the playoffs, because if we don’t win, we’re not going to make it.”

At 3-0 in league, Rampart seems to be on track.

“We had two goals coming into it,” Rams Head Coach Rob Royer said. “Outright district championship and then we want to practice on Thanksgiving, and both those goals are still attainable, so we’re on track to what we want.”

The Rams host Air Academy at District 20 Stadium this Friday night at 7 p.m.

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