Soroco football outruns Rangely to end losing streak
Aug. 29, @ Caliche 30-18 Loss
Sept. 4, vs. Sanford 48-12 Win
Sept. 12, @ Plateau Valley 33-26 Loss
Sept. 18, vs. Dayspring Christian 55-18 Loss
Oct. 2, vs. Norwood* 51-14 Loss
Friday, vs. Rangely* 42-28 Win
Oct. 24, vs. Plateau Valley*
Oct. 30, @ Hayden*
*indicates league game
Oak Creek — Soroco High School football coach Dick Dudas called it the ugliest play he had ever seen. Against visiting Rangely on Friday in Oak Creek, the Rams ran what was supposed to be a sprint draw from junior quarterback Issac Jonas to senior halfback Eric Logan, but the pair just couldn’t get on the same page for the transition.
“Somehow, they blasted into each other,” Dudas said, “and when the smoke cleared, he was going down the field for a touchdown.”
The mishap kept the ball with Jonas, who turned the dud into an 82-yard touchdown run, a key play that pushed the Rams ahead by three scores in the second half and effectively sealed their eventual 42-28 win.
“Still don’t know what to do about giving up points on defense, but our offense, we just have a lot of athletes on offense,” Dudas said. “Much better performance. Happy for the young men.”
The win snapped a three-game losing streak for Soroco (2-4) and gave the Rams their first conference win in two tries this season. Rangely fell to 2-5.
After being punished by highly ranked Dayspring Christian and Norwood the past two games, Dudas knew the team needed to make a few changes. The first was mental, with Dudas saying the team had been playing not-to-lose, as opposed to playing to win. The second big change came on the line, with senior running back/linebacker Storm Veilleux moving into the trenches to give the Rams a little extra push up front.
“I told my players from the beginning that the game was going to be up front, no matter what,” Jonas said. “I think we just started executing on our line and that was the difference.”
The teams punted their way through a scoreless first quarter before Rangely took an 8-0 lead on a 14-yard touchdown pass two plays into the second quarter. Soroco’s line started to do work after that, allowing its offense to get in a rhythm. A short Eric Logan touchdown run made it 8-6, and it was a 41-yard TD run by freshman Jace Logan that gave the Rams a 14-8 lead.
A long TD pass by Rangely made it 14-all. Then, Jace Logan struck again, taking the ensuing kickoff back 75 yards for the score. The return was originally called back because of a hold, but as the offense was walking onto the field, the referees reversed the call, saying the hold had been on Rangely instead, and they had miscommunicated the call.
“We were a little confused, because we didn’t see any penalties. It was great when we got that turned around,” Jonas said. “If we are down a little bit, and we get scored on, and we are kind of loosing momentum, (Jace Logan) can definitely pull something out and go score.”
Soroco scored again before the break, a 22-yard interception return by Jonas on a tipped pass to give the Rams a 28-14 halftime lead.
Turnovers were a major part of the game, with Rangely committing six to just one for Soroco. Jonas’s long TD run, the “ugly” one, came after Soroco’s Ivan Perez recovered a fumble deep in Ram territory. Soroco led 34-14 after three quarters, but had the lead cut back to 34-22 on a 9-yard score by Rangely’s Kiki Ruiz on fourth down.
Soroco answered right back, a 49-yard touchdown run by Jonas, putting the game completely out of reach. Rangely’s final score came on a 51-yard run by Ruiz with about two minutes to play.
“It feels great. We had a great week of practice that definitely helped,” Jonas said. “They run hard. They are a good team. But if we are getting beat up a little bit, and we get a turnover, then we just regain that momentum.”
Soroco now has a week off to prepare for a senior day visit from Plateau Valley on Oct. 24. Soroco lost at Plateau Valley, 33-26, on Sept. 12 in a non-league game.
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