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Can Raceland win the big game? That is the question most Ram Fans are asking. A fixture in the playoffs, and a storied program of success in North-Eastern Kentucky, Raceland seems to have a problem in the Big Game. And, in the playoffs, all the games are big.

Raceland returns all the tools necessary to end the season in Bowling Green. But, can they? Raceland’s strength is going to be their senior class, ladened with talent and experience. The Rams return four offensive linemen: Nevan Johnson, Mac Boggs, Austin Manis, and Alec Risner. Size, strength, and experience will make this possible the best offensive line to play at Raceland. And the backfield is happy about that. Three year starting quarterback Adam Elkins, who threw for 1,500 yards as a junior has to feel safe and secure. While running backs Daylin Beech and Zac Litteral will be looking for holes to propel them both over a thousands yards for the second consecutive season. Junior Conner Messer will be the likely primary target for Elkins in the Ram’s balance attack. But Messer may be the receiver to double cover, those that do will quickly learn the name of Rodney Vance. Vance can, and at times, is the primary receiver for the Rams. And A.J. Joseph can hurt anyone that thinks he is the third receiver. Covering all three of Raceland's receivers may come to be a big job for other teams.

On defense, Raceland allowed 15 points per game a year ago, but for them to win the big games the defense will have to be capable of stopping some potent attacks. The offensive line will be flipped over to make the nucleus of the defense, with Boggs being a three year starter at middle linebacker and Johnson, Manis, and Risner on the defensive front. Messer may get as many touches on defense as he gets on offense after having 12 take-a-ways in 2012 with nine intercepts and three fumble recoveries.

Raceland's schedule should provide several opportunities to prepare for big playoff games with an early test against Ashland that is normally a playoff atmosphere. Watch this early game to gauge how the Rams react. Then, in Week 10 Raceland will face off for the first time, ever, against Ohio power, Ironton at Ram Stadium, which may be the largest crowd ever at a Raceland game. This game should be a indicator of what Raceland will have at the end of the regular season. A true playoff atmosphere that should get any football fan's heart beating.

Raceland fans are excited, but cautious in speculation of the 2013 Rams. They know the talent and experience are there, but they are often reminded of big games that should’ve and could’ve been. Many Raceland fans are wondering if they will ever get that signature win and get to showcase their team on the big stage. Time will tell, and if it doesn’t happen in 2013, it may never happen. Will 2013 be the year of the Ram? Or, will it be another year of the Goat?

Players to Watch:

  1. Daylin Beech (Sr. RB/DB 6’0” 170) - Beech is a great athlete and capable of much. His durability is the only concern. Beech will have his second thousand yard rushing season after moving from WR as a junior. He will get yards.
  2. Zac Litteral (Sr. RB/LB 5’9” 150) - Stopping Beech will not stop the Raceland’s ground game. Often overlooked, Litteral is just as potent and often hurts defenses for that error. Litteral is probably the toughest player on the Raceland roster, don’t forget about him.
  3. Adam Elkins (Sr. QB 6’0 180) - A three year starter at QB in a complicated offense will be a feather in the cap of Raceland. Elkins is coming off a thousand yard passing season where he added another 500 yards rushing. Elkins knows the offense and will be focused in 2013.
  4. Nevan Johnson (Sr. OL/DL 6’4” 290) - Johnson is another three year starter and has shown his commitment in the offseason this year, garnering a lot of college attention and making himself a better player. Teams will be looking for him on the field.
  5. Mac Boggs (Sr. OL/LB 6’5” 270) - Boggs, in his second year as an offensive starter and his third roaming in the linebacker slot will be another area of concern for opposing offenses. Boggs knows the game and will be ready to show it.
  6. Conner Messer (Jr. WR/DB 6’2 140) - Messer will get attention from a lot of people. He will have over a thousand yards receiving in 2013, and will lead the team in INT’s and will probably return a few kicks for touchdowns. He will get the ball in a lot of ways, and will make opposing teams pay for letting him get it.