Manitou Springs rallies to win after late-game trickery
The Mustangs (6-1, 2-1 2A Tri-Peaks) picked up a first down off a fake punt midway through the fourth quarter that led to a touchdown, and then faked the extra point for a 2-point conversion to pull ahead of Salida (2-5, 1-2) in a dramatic 35-34 win Friday.
"We had to change the momentum of the game, the complexion of the game," Manitou Springs coach Cory Archuleta said.
Those two gutsy calls certainly did just that.
Cole Sienknecht replaced injured punter Davyn Adamscheck on a fourth-and-6 punt and ran for 8 yards to extend the late-game drive. The junior then hit Lucas Rodholm for a 10-yard touchdown to cut the Spartans' lead to a point before tossing a 2-point conversion strike to Jayden Omi out of the field-goal formation.
"We run that quite a bit," Archuleta said of the do-or-die call. "We had an extra point blocked earlier and so we knew they were coming with full pressure. So we wanted to sneak him (Omi) out and Cole did a good job getting him the ball."
Salida responded with a long drive in the waning minutes but failed to convert on fourth down on the Mustang side of the field.
Sienknecht threw for 125 yards and three touchdowns on only five completions. Uriah Waters had a 55-yard touchdown run and Adamscheck also scored on the ground before leaving the game with a re-aggravated shoulder injury.
"It was a huge win for us to have late in the season," Archuleta said.
Manitou Springs will host Florence (4-3, 1-2) next week before ending its season on the road at The Classical Academy (6-1, 2-1).
Harrison wallops Pueblo Central
Harrison (5-2, 2-0 3A South Central) has passed every test since an 0-2 start.
Now it must respond after one of the largest wins in program history.
The Panthers had 485 yards of total offense on just 11 first downs as they beat Pueblo Central (0-7, 0-2) in a runaway 69-19 win Friday.
The 50-point win, the largest margin of victory in at least more than a decade for the program, comes before a grueling two-game stretch on the road at Pueblo County (4-3, 1-1) and Pueblo East (6-1, 2-0).
Harrison coach Al Melo trusts that his team won't get comfortable.
"It's a pretty good, locked-in group," Melo said. "We'll come in ready to work Monday."
Orlando Westbrook rushed for three scores and threw David Barrow a 55-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage. Ramone Daley added 80 yards and two scores on three carries, and Tyrese Johnson returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown.
Harrison averaged 8.2 yards per rush and 17.7 yards a completion.
TCA outlasts Florence
Cade Bethany threw for three scores and Austin Weingart ran for another two as the Titans (6-1, 2-1 2A Tri-Peaks) beat Florence 38-26 on Friday.
TCA was without four starters on defense - none bigger than linebacker Rhys Ryba (broken foot), who is out for the season.
"We were a little nervous going into it with that but we fought through it," Titans coach David Bervig said. "We survived it."
Alec Lucero threw and ran for a touchdown for the Huskies. Dixon Lawson added two rushing scores.
It was Florence's first loss at home this season and its first by a double-digit margin.
"Florence is in every game," Bervig said. "They are just a really good program. They play with a lot of pride."
Palmer picks up first win of the year
Anthony Grassi had 207 yards and four touchdowns on the ground as the Terrors (1-6, 1-1 4A Pikes Peak) beat Littleton (0-7, 0-2) 49-14 at Garry Berry Stadium on Thursday for their first win.
Palmer had a season-best 10.8 yards per rush and 347 yards on the ground against a slumping Lions defense. The Terrors hadn't rushed for 200 yards in any of their first six games.
BRENT W. NEW, THE GAZETTE