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Ravens rookie Patrick Ricard thrilled by first career touchdown

The last time Patrick Ricard scored a touchdown, he was a senior fullback in the David Prouty High School’s double-wing offense in Spencer, Mass. It took him only six years to return to the end zone.

The Ravens rookie scored the first touchdown of his NFL career in the second quarter of Sunday’s 44-20 dismantling of the Detroit Lions at M&T Bank Stadium. Lined up as a fullback in front of running back Alex Collins, Ricard ran a short out pattern to the right side of the end zone where he collected a 3-yard pass from quarterback Joe Flacco with 6:34 left.

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“The last touchdown I had was in high school because I didn’t play offense in college [at the University of Maine],” the 23-year-old undrafted free agent said. “It’s just an unbelievable feeling. I turned the corner and was wide open. Joe threw a perfect pass to me, and I caught it. It was awesome to help this offense and to score. It was definitely an experience I’m going to remember for a while.”

Originally a defensive end who accumulated 18 sacks and 208 tackles in 33 college games for the Black Bears, the 6-foot-3, 304-pound Ricard had more tackles (three) than catches [one] before Sunday’s game. But he has been learning the intricacies of playing a hybrid position of fullback and tight end under tight ends coach and senior offensive assistant Greg Roman.

“He knows nothing about offense, but we’ve taught him so much, and he’s absorbed it,” tight end Benjamin Watson said. “He’s come in and played great in short yardage, the run game. He’s a big guy, very versatile, very athletic. So just happy to see him catch a pass and catch a touchdown. We’ve been practicing that play for a while, and to see him actually get that in a game is pretty awesome.”

It was only the second reception of Ricard’s fledgling career, but one that he won’t soon forget.

“It’s top five,” he said. “Making the team is probably No. 1. In high school, I won a championship with my brother and some guys I grew up with. Getting a scholarship to college and winning a championship there was great, too. But this is definitely up there.”

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