Soroco football surges late to earn second straight win |

Soroco football surges late to earn second straight win

Soroco senior quarterback Lucas Koler passes to junior Tanner Cole-Wheeler in the first half of a football game against Dolores on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022.
Tom Skulski/Steamboat Pilot & Today

After a 22-14 victory over Dolores on Friday, Sept. 9, the Soroco football team is off to its best start since 2019.

The late afternoon game was sloppy on both sides, with penalty flags being thrown almost as often as the football, but the Rams were resilient. 

The Rams defensive unit held its opponent to just 14 points and forced several turnovers, including a key interception by junior Trey Louthan to start the second half. 

Head coach Casey Hill said he loved the fight his team showed on Friday and was impressed with the Rams’ mental toughness throughout the game. 

“It feels pretty good,” Hill said. “We started off with a little adversity and started off in the backseat. I’m proud of the guys for starting off in the backseat and coming away with the win.”

Soroco was first on the scoreboard with a safety halfway through the first quarter. 

To set up the score, senior Bradley Hoskinson punted the ball and pinned the Bears inside their own 5-yard line. Not long after that, the Rams took down Dolores’ ball carrier inside the visiting endzone and Soroco was granted two points to give the Rams a lead. 

Soroco junior Tanner Cole-Wheeler tackles Dolores quarterback Trayton Traweek late in the first half of a football game on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022, in Oak Creek.
Tom Skulski/Steamboat Pilot & today

The Rams kept the momentum and started the second quarter with another score, this time a touchdown from senior Lucas Koler’s quarterback keeper up the middle. The two-point try failed and Soroco held an early 8-0 lead.

The preceding kickoff was returned by the Bears and brought all the way down the sideline for an immediate touchdown of their own, leaving Soroco with a two-point, 8-6 lead at halftime.

A Rams fourth down in the third quarter led to Hoskinson attempting a punt. However, Hoskinson was forced to juke-out incoming defenders and throw the ball. He found Koler downfield for a 38-yard touchdown pass, extending the Rams’ lead to 14-6. 

The visiting Bears had no interest in giving up and after blocking a Soroco punt, they found the endzone with a 16-yard rush to tie the game at 14 at the end of the third quarter. 

Trading multiple turnovers on downs and punts, the Rams got the ball with 2:59 to play in enemy territory. Koler connected with junior receiver Tanner Cole-Wheeler for a 20-yard touchdown.

Senior Lucas Koler kicks-off after a Soroco touchdown in a football game against Dolores on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022.
Tom Skulski/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Koler’s big game helped fuel the Rams for the full 48 minutes of play, and he was ecstatic with the team’s performance so far this season.

“I caught that touchdown, and I was just taking off,” Koler said. “I was so excited and seeing Tanner catch that ball was really exciting too. It pumped me up; it pumped everybody up.”

Hoskinson’s rush up the middle in the two-point attempt was good, and the Rams found themselves with a 22-14 lead and just 2:53 left to play. 

Soroco notched a turnover on downs and bled the remaining 90 seconds off the clock to improve to a 2-1 regular season record. 

The Soroco Rams set up at the line of scrimmage to run a play against the Dolores Bears in a football game on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022.

The Rams are back at home Sept. 16 to play St. Mary’s. 

Hill plans to use the practice week to work on playing smarter football and limiting penalties. Regardless, he loves the direction the team is headed and is proud of the bond the Rams have formed. 

“It feels amazing, we’re all just playing like a family out there,” Koler said. “It’s a brotherhood, is really what it is. It feels amazing though. The past few years have been rough, and we’re really pulling it out this year.”

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