Grand Valley crushes Soroco to seal league title |

Grand Valley crushes Soroco to seal league title

Dave Shively

Soroco's Cody Miles rolls away from the Grand Valley defense during Friday night's game in Oak Creek. The Cardinals held a 56-0 lead at the half, and went on to defeat the Rams.

— The Soroco football team was hoping a wet and cold field would help even the playing field when it hosted Grand Valley on Friday night.

Instead, it was Soroco that made first-half turnovers and gave a powerful Grand Valley offense some shortened fields to run away with a blowout victory in Oak Creek.

The Cardinals (8-0 overall, 6-0 in Class 1A Western Slope League) racked up nearly 400 rushing yards en route to a 69-8 victory.

The win earned Grand Valley its second consecutive league title.

“It’s just such a great bunch of guys we’ve got, who were dedicated this summer, working out and in the weight room, to taking the next step,” Grand Valley head coach Mike Johnson said.

Grand Valley’s size, speed and numbers dwarfed Soroco’s.

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The difference was apparent on Soroco’s opening drive. The Rams moved the chains as Robert Anderson snagged a catch for a first down, but Grand Valley safety Jon Lantz picked off Soroco quarterback Cody Miles’ next attempt and ran it 36 yards back to set up an easy touchdown on the Cardinals’ first play from scrimmage.

The Cardinals defense forced the Rams three-and-out on their next possession and used two minutes and five plays to rush their way back through Soroco territory and into the end zone.

Soroco’s next two drives had it pinned deep in its own half, punting out and giving Grand Valley short fields. The Cardinals took advantage, scoring first on a pass from Ryan Gallegos and then a rushing touchdown from Class 1A’s leading rusher Colton Cowan, both off the Cardinals first plays from scrimmage.

Down 28-0 heading into the second quarter, Grand Valley had little mercy for Soroco, leaving in its starting lineup and scoring another four touchdowns as Soroco couldn’t make it down the field any further than the Grand Valley 33-yard line.

“Grand Valley’s the real deal,” Soroco football coach David Bruner said. “It’s tough to ask freshmen out there to do the impossible and go up against a team ranked in the state’s top five.

“But I was real pleased with how we played the second half and finished off the game.”

The Soroco defense held Grand Valley to only two touchdowns in the second half and cracked the end zone on a 35-yard drive on the heels of Miles, who finished it with a 10-yard scoring rush.

Soroco (2-6 overall, 0-5 in league) finishes its season next week at home against Rangely.