RIO RANCHO It was what you could call a “full-house victory”: three touchdowns from Rayce Ramirez and two from J.J. Arellano.

Tthe Rams pulled away from what had been a 10-0 halftime lead to score four second-half touchdowns, two each by running back Ramirez and quarterback Arellano. 

The Rams’ defense was tremendous, employing what Ramirez termed a “Bend but don’t break” strategy. It paid off, as the Rams (5-2, 1-0) sacked the Jaguars’ two quarterbacks six times while allowing a net rushing total of zero yards, although AHA threw for, unofficially, 322 yards – 101 from first-half QB Latavious Morris and 221 and two passing TDs from second-half QB Jordan Griego. 

 Ramirez, who scored his team’s first-half TD on a 5-yard run, scored on a 2-yard run late in the third quarter, and after the Rams recovered the ensuing kickoff, Arellano scored from the 5 53 seconds later, helping the Rams take a 23-0 lead heading into the fourth quarter. 

Morris caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from Griego to avoid the shutout and Alijah Lee ran the ball in for a 2-point conversion, to make it a two-score Rams lead, 23-8. 

But the Rams went on an 80-yard, nine-play drive, capped by a 2-yard Ramirez run, and after a 20-yard punt from deep within their AHA territory, the Rams had the ball on the 22. Four plays later, Arellano called his own number and scored from the 1, and only 5:29 was left to play. 

The Jaguars (5-3, 1-1), falling to the Rams for the ninth time in as many meetings, scored their second TD with less than a minute to go, this time on a 29-yard pass from Griego to Chauncey Lane. 

Ramirez said it was his best, and probably his team’s best, game of the season. 

He finished with 182 yards on 26 carries. 

“I feel this was the best game offensively and the offensive line. I felt we were getting the push up front,” he said. “We were dominating both sides of the ball.” 

At halftime, he said coach Nate Pino told his squad, “Just finish. As an offensive group, that’s what our motto is: Just finish, because in the beginning of the season, we’d get into the red zone and we wouldn’t (finish,” he said. 

Arellano ran for 82 yards on a dozen carries, although he only completed four passes on 13 throws for 53 yards. Two of the incompletions were
“spikes” to stop the clock 

Bryson Strohecker kicked a 38-yard field goal in the first half and was 4 for 4 on points-after. 

On Friday, Oct. 13, the Rams are at Community Stadium Friday evening at 7 to meet winless Cibola, the team they’ve faced more than any other. RRHS is 19-6 all-time vs. the Cougars, with nine wins in a row, including a 35-7 victory last season.