Rams ready for the big game | SteamboatToday.com

Rams ready for the big game

Soroco, Norwood to face off today

— The implications for the Soroco football team have been established.

Because the Rams are ineligible to participate in the postseason, when they take the field at 7 p.m. today to face Norwood, they’ll be fighting to win a one-game faux playoff with everything on the line.

They’ll hope to add the last piece to an undefeated 2009 and knock off one of the state’s top teams at the same time.

Norwood, ranked No. 7 by The Denver Post, also thinks it has something to prove as it battles for the first undefeated season anyone in the small southwestern Colorado town can remember.

Those competing factors promise to make tonight’s showdown can’t-miss football.

“It should be a great football game,” Soroco coach David Bruner said. “It should be everything everyone thinks it can be.”

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Soroco hopes to find victory the same way it has all season: by turning to its high-flying passing offense to exploit defenses built to stop the run.

Senior quarterback Cody Miles has led the way and last week alone accounted for more than 300 yards of offense and four touchdowns.

He’s turned to receivers Alex Estes, Jacob Hange, Michael Rossi, Pie Lombardi and A.J. Anderson all season and should rely on that group again.

“We’re going to spread them out just like we’ve done to everyone,” Bruner said. “People keep asking me how it’s possible, but we will probably throw it more than we have all year.”

Norwood, meanwhile, will

try to test one of the few areas in which Soroco hasn’t always proven dominant. The Mavericks will rely on their hard-nosed offensive line to open up a physical run game.

The Rams proved susceptible to such attacks earlier in the season, giving up nearly 700 yards on the ground in one two-week span.

“It’s nothing fancy,” Norwood coach Tom LaFramboise said about his team’s offense. “The line has been our strong point, and we will be counting on them to open up some big holes for our running backs.”

LaFramboise said as important as stopping Soroco’s offense – for which he has installed several new defensive looks – will be, and as key as it will be to find cracks in Soroco’s defense, the most important aspect of the game for his team might be the first 15 minutes.

The emotions likely to be in play tonight for Soroco, suiting up for its final game of the season, are no secret.

“It can go two ways,” LaFramboise said. “They will come in with a huge motivation and be riding a wave because it’s their last game. What we have to do is try to control their initial surge and pop that bubble so they decide they’re finished.”

The Rams, meanwhile, plan to ride the same momentum that’s carried them to one of their best-ever seasons for one final exclamation point victory.

“They’re excited,” Bruner said about his team. “They talked about going undefeated all year, and they finally have that opportunity.

“We want to finish the year out right. We started something, and we want to finish it.”

Hayden faces another tough opponent today

The path doesn’t get any easier for the Hayden football team.

One week after struggling against undefeated Hotchkiss in a 35-0 loss, the Tigers will try to handle a nearly equally dominant Meeker (6-1) squad at 7 p.m. today in Hayden.

The Cowboys have lost just one in 2009, falling in the season’s second week to now 7-0 Olathe. More recently they’ve walloped the competition, blowing out opponents two of the past three weeks.

If Hayden (3-4) is to rebound after last week’s loss and even its record at .500, it will need to find some offensive momentum. The Tigers have scored just one touchdown in the past three weeks and two in the past month.

During that stretch, the team is 1-3.

If you go

What: Soroco (7-0) vs. Norwood (7-0)

When: 7 p.m. today

Where: Soroco High School, Oak Creek

If you go

What: Hayden (3-4) vs. Meeker (6-1)

When: 7 p.m. today

Where: Hayden High School, Hayden