By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer

It was only a pre-season game but it was action packed with a thriller of an ending. Rams quarterback Bryce Perkins led the team on a 16 play 76-yard scoring drive hitting tight end Jacob Harris for a touchdown to bring the team within a 17-16 score with 15 ticks on the clock. The point after try fell short and that’s how the game ended.    

In all it was a big night for Perkins completing 26 of 39 for 208 yards and two TD’s. He had one interception and also ran for 41 yards on nine carries in front of 68,374 at So-Fi Stadium.   

It was the most the QB has played since joining the team as an undrafted free agent where we signed to the practice squad.   Last year there was no preseason due to COVID. Perkins was impressive during his time running the offense.  

“Unbelievable job battling through,” said Rams head coach Sean McVay. “Its exciting I was really pleased with the poise, his command and composure throughout the game.”   
 Before the game the Rams (0-2) placed punters Johnny Hekker and Corey Bjorquez on the COVID-19 list.    

 Matt Gay stepped in and handled the all the kicking duties. The second-year man had a 42.4 average on four punts. He also was one of two on field goals nailing a 36 yarder gave the Rams a 10-7 second period lead.    

It’s not known how long Hekker and Bjorquez will be out. They both punted twice in the pre-season opener, a 13-6 loss to the Chargers. Hekker averaged 45.5 while Bjorquez averaged 43 yards including one inside the 20-yard line.     

Hekker is a 10-year veteran and a four-time pro bowler is the highest paid punter in the NFL.    

The game marked the third time in four days the teams squared off against each other. They had joint practices during the week that saw several mini brawls. There are several young players trying to make the team also teams are tired of facing each other in practice everyday.      

Running back Jake Funk led all rushers with 56 yards on seven carries. Xavier Jones also had a good day with 29 yards on seven carries he also caught a check-down pass and turned it into a 10-yard gain.   

Tutu Atwell had 8 receptions for 45 yards he was targeted 13 times and appears to be able to break away on any catch. J. J. Koski had 8 catches for 61 yards including a 19 yarder that helped the Rams roll up 327 total yards on the night.  

On the defensive side Chris Garrett made a strong case for the team as he had two batted passes a tipped pass that led to an interception by J.R. Reed. The seventh-round pick from Concordia St. Paul, Minnesota also had four tackles including a strip sack, three QB hits against Raider QB Nate Peterman.  

Brontae Harris (35) return an interception against the Raiders at So-Fi. (Photo: Earl Heath)

Defensive back Brontae Harris had and intercepted and his teammates mobbed him in the end zone. He has been a team favorite with his hustle and team play throughout training camp. 

The Rams defense held the Raiders (2-0) to 227 total yards as Peterman who played the entire game.  

The Defense was cheered on by Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey who were not even dressed for the game. 

There were several Raider fans in attendance and they let it be known with their spirited cheers.   

RAM NOTES: Right before press time the Rams have waived TE Kyle Markway and activated punter Cory Bjorquez.