Soroco routs Mustangs
Dripping wet in ice-cold water, Soroco Rams coach Gary Heide said he just witnessed his team play the best game of the season. After their 41-6 rout of the West Grand Mustangs, several players doused him with water from a water cooler.
“With the exception of all the penalties, this was the best looking game all year,” Heide said. “We usually don’t get in the rhythm like we did tonight.”
Take away a missed extra point by Trevor Ellis and nine penalties for 85 yards, and it would have been a perfect game.
Two touchdowns were called back for blocks in the back, and the offense lost several yards because of holding penalties.
“If it would have been a close game, we probably wouldn’t have come out on top,” senior running back Jack Means said.
Soroco was not seeking perfection, just a winning season, and the team overcame the penalties to achieve that. With the victory, the Rams finished their season 5-4, 3-4.
Soroco’s offense seemed to have momentum from last week’s Hayden victory, as it quickly put 14 points on the board. Means scored the first touchdown on a 10-yard run. He also scored the second touchdown on a 22-yard pass from Kory Babcock and the third, while playing defense, after Dylan Knudsen blocked a punt on the Mustangs own 22-yard line.
“That just felt good,” Heide said about the punt block, punctuated with a score. “It doesn’t happen all the time.”
West Grand, at one point, had nine players guarding the line of scrimmage trying to stop the Rams ground attack, but the Rams repeatedly found holes, exploiting the under-covered backfield.
Ellis scored the fourth consecutive touchdown in the second quarter through one such hole, and the Rams could smell victory.
West Grand struck back, finding its own hole in the Rams’ defense. Heide screamed from the sidelines: “This game is not over!”
Senior tailback C.J. Remick scored the final touchdown of the half, making the score 34-6, and Matt Cartas scored the final touchdown of the game in the third quarter.
Soroco mixed up the offensive attack well but proved itself on the ground, averaging more than 7 yards per carry, 302 yards total rushing.
“The offensive line again played great,” Heide said. “They have learned to sustain and keep driving forward with their blocks.”
If Plateau Valley loses to Meeker and Grand Valley loses to Paonia this weekend, Soroco and those two teams will be in a three-way tie for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Western Slope. Instead of the tiebreak rule implemented in years past, the three teams will meet in Meeker on Monday for a playoff. The winner of that will meet Akron, two-time defending state champions.
Remick and Babcock said it is important to them to make it to the playoffs, even if “it’s just to say we’ve been there,” Babcock said.
“It brings more pride to the school and the football program,” he said.
Heide told the team they should be proud of their regular season accomplishments, no matter what the outcome of this weekend’s games.
“The season was successful because of a team effort,” Heide said. “The coaches put a lot of time and effort into the program. I just appreciate everything this team has done all year long.”
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