August 30, 2009 12:21:00 AM
STEENS -- Immanuel Christian football coach Shawn Gates said he noticed some positives in Friday night''s 36-22 loss to the Central Academy Vikings.
The biggest positive, Gates said, is sophomore running back Michael Tate.
"There was a lot of courage out of Michael Tate," he said. "When he was hurt he stepped it up and went back in."
Tate, who scored one touchdown, was instrumental in setting up all three of the Rams'' scores.
Tate carried the team to the goal line in a first-quarter drive where he pushed for 54 yards on 11 carries. His work set the table for Ross Moore''s 1-yard touchdown run, Gates said.
"(Tate) was down and tired," he said. "I was really impressed with him when he came through with that."
Later in the third quarter, Tate finally found the hole he was looking for and sped 53 yards down the field for the Rams'' third and final score.
"Michael Tate has a good future in front of him," Gates said. "(The sophomore) is going to step up and really show out during his junior and senior year."
Gates said he noticed some fixable problems on the defensive side of the ball.
"I''m going to move my two defensive linemen out to the outside corners and move two of my faster guys on the defensive line," he said. "The way I had it lined up, there was a slower guy on one side. This week I''m going to have it even-even."
Gates said the Rams'' cornerbacks are going to have to work on their breaks and field vision so they can better read the quarterback.
"(My cornerbacks) are just working on stopping a touchdown," he said. "They are going to have to turn around."
The Rams lost this game because of key errors, Gates said.
"We are tough and we will always keep driving forward," he said. "We just have to put it together. When we do, the possibilities are limitless."
For Central Academy, senior Trevor Eaves had four touchdowns and 162 yards on 10 carries.
"(Eaves) is a good kid. He is the leader of the football team," Central Academy coach Ronnie Sciple said. "Last year, it was the same kind of first game for him. He was sick, but scored two touchdowns the only two times he touched it."
Two of Eaves'' touchdowns came on breakaway runs of more than 40 yards.
"If I can get two blocks on the outside, and I can get around to a corner then I can make it (to the end zone)," Eaves said. "It is all about those key blocks."
Eaves also scored a touchdown on a return. He said he was a little nervous about his first-quarter return.
"I thought I was going to get tackled about three times," Eaves said. "But I broke through those three tackles and I knew I had (the touchdown) by the 40-yard line."
Sciple said the game was sloppy and both teams had too many penalties. He also praised Immanuel''s effort.
"(The Rams) did a good job keeping us off the field offensively," he said. "We won because we got a good kickoff return here or there. My hat is off to Immanuel."