MARICOPA — Maricopa Rams coach Rick Skinner has a simple game plan going into Thursday’s night’s game against the high-powered Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep Saints.

The Rams’ offense will try to control the ball and clock to keep the Saints’ offense on the sidelines. What the Rams cannot do is have three-and-outs.

“They are a complete team. They do everything well, run and pass,” Skinner said. “This will be a good test for us.”

Above all else Skinner wants to continue to see his team improve week from week.

“We need to continue to improve with what we do,” he said. “Consistency is the issue.”

He has seen signs of maturity and execution throughout the season, and while their record of 2-4 is not where they want to be, they are playing better.

Skinner said if his team can stay balanced with the run and pass against the Saints it will mean they are controlling the clock and giving them a chance.

“That is what we have to be able to do,” he said. “We want to control the ball, take care of the ball. We have to sustain long drives.”

This is crucial, he said, because the Saints are a very good offensive team with a lot of weapons.

“They all work together very well,” he said. “They are just a solid team.”

The Ram’s coach said if his team can keep the score close going into the fourth quarter the pressure will be on the Saints because they are favored to win.

“If we play like we did in the first half last week (against Laveen Cesar Chavez) we have a chance.” Skinner said.

Without a late interception in the first half last week Maricopa would have been down just three before halftime. The Rams were also stopped at Cesar Chavez’s one-yard line in the fourth quarter that would have cut the lead to three points.

“We are getting better and better and finding out what it takes,” Skinner said.

He also said his team only lost by 10 points last Friday despite throwing five interceptions.

“We want to give our team the opportunity (late in the game),” he said.

The Rams won their first two games of the season before losing the next four to better competition even though they were playing better.

The Notre Dame Prep Saints are 4-2 on the year after blanking Gilbert Campo Verde 15-0 last week.

Pinal County High school football game of the week: Maricopa vs. Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep. Also picks of the week.


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