08/21/2014 01:24 pm ET Updated Aug 25, 2014

St. Louis Rams Score Big Points With Ferguson Football Teams

Given the St. Louis Rams lost Saturday to the visiting Green Bay Packers, 21-7, the team's best play might have been before the game.

In an effort to provide respite from the nearby unrest, the Rams gave free game tickets to Ferguson-area high school football teams. About 225 players from McCluer, McCluer North and McCluer South attended the preseason contest, ESPN reported.

Noting that the players were just days away from their season starting amid school-opening delays, Rams official Kyle Eversgerd told the network, "Why not give them the opportunity to break away from their every day and what they're dealing with to come watch us play?"

The gesture was much appreciated.

"It was overwhelming to see the NFL live, for real," McCluer senior running back Henry Jones said, according to outlets. "I've been thinking about it ever since. I could actually see myself out there playing."

The Rams have been team players for the local schools since the police shooting of unarmed Michael Brown sparked days of tension-filled protests. According to Associated Press, the NFL club invited the displaced teams to use their indoor practice facility until the season opens Friday.

"We're fortunate that we can provide an opportunity for these young high school athletes to get away," Rams coach Jeff Fisher told AP.