SYLVESTER -- The Worth County Rams are off to a less than stellar start after dropping their opener to Lee County by 30 points and then losing a heartbreaker to Cook, 26-22, in the last seconds of a game in Adel two weeks ago.

After taking last Friday off, the Rams are back in action this week as they host the Northeast High Raiders out of Macon.

The Raiders enjoyed successful seasons in 2001 (9-3), 2002 (9-3) and 2003 (7-4). However, last season Northeast fell to 3-7 under first year head coach Bruce Mullen. This season the Raiders return a large group of veterans including eight seniors who are considered college prospects.

"They are similar to last year's team," said Worth County head coach Harold Brantley. "They've got some quality athletes."

Quarterback Rodrico Dennis brings a strong arm to the Northeast passing attack. Wide receiver Steven Billue (6-3, 195) has 4.5 speed. There is decent speed coming out of the backfield as Nigel Sams runs a 4.7 40.

Northeast will be relying on its skill position players, as there is a lack of experience on both the offensive and defensive lines.

"They have had some problems with their line," Brantley admitted. "Against Baldwin they kept the ball for one nine-minute drive, but later they shot themselves in the foot when the ball was snapped over the punter's head. They've given up a couple of safeties."

Along the front is where the Rams will have a serious advantage as the Worth offensive line is big and experienced. And Brantley is not afraid to use his tight end as Robby Peacock made some noise against Cook High.

Coming into the season, the Rams knew that they would be relying heavily on junior quarterback Clayton Edwards as they wait for a young running back to step up.

"We're a good running back away," said Brantley after the Cook loss.

The Rams, however, are finding ways to stay in the game. Down 18-7 to the Hornets, the Rams returned an 80-yard kickoff for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. The two-point conversion pulled Worth to within three points. Six minutes later the Rams defense forced and then recovered a Cook fumble, which they converted and took a 22-18 lead.

"We've got to play 48 good minutes and not give up the big play," said Brantley.

    

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