Opposite opponents throw down in cross-state playoff showdown
Roaring Fork’s experience vs. Trinidad’s inexperience.The Rams’ technique paired up against the Miners’ size.Trinidad’s 47-man roster battling on the gridiron against Roaring Fork’s 34-man roster
The Miners’ offensive powerhouse lined up head-to-head with the Rams’ defensive stronghold.Entering Saturday’s Class 2A first-round state football playoff contest between Roaring Fork and Trinidad, no one knows which team’s characteristics are more successful. What is known is that both teams have netted 8-1 records this season and RockyPreps top-10 ratings with Roaring Fork at No. 4 and Trinidad at No. 8. Regardless of which attributes prove more valuable, Roaring Fork head coach Mike Brinson and his team have one goal.”We’ve got to attack first and keep doing it the entire game,” he said. “We can’t make any mistakes. In a tough game like this, it’s the little things that make the difference. We have to strive for perfection with the little things and that’s our goal.”
The Rams do have experience on their side, with 2006 being their eighth consecutive playoff appearance. During that run, Roaring Fork has won seven of its first-round games. Trinidad on the other hand, enters the postseason for the first time since 2000. Roaring Fork also has the defensive advantage, holding opponents to an average of under 9 points per contest. The Miners will try and beat the Rams using their size, with three lineman weighing in at 245 pounds or more and linebacker Lane Stuht tipping the scales at 250.”They are a tough team. We know we can’t physically go toe-to-toe with them and we’ve played bigger teams in the past, like Lamar (who the Rams defeated 21-12 in the first round of the playoffs in 2005), so we are going to use technique. We have to execute our technique and get after it and beat them to the punch.”Trinidad is also led by running back Gabe Santistevan who has rushed for 1,210-yards and nine touchdowns and averaged 9.7 yards per carry this season. Matt Gallegos, a former running back transformed into quarterback, is a threat on the ground, with 608 yards rushed and eight TDs, and, in the air, going 23-37 this season for 394 yards and five TDs.
“Offensively we’ve got to score points,” Brinson said. “They are an offensive machine, so to counter that, we’ve got to get our playmakers the ball.” Key playmakers in the Rams’ offense are Trevor Hunt, who usually spends most of his time in the backfield and has rushed for 600 yards this season, and Tyler Hunt, who started the season as wide receiver, but has split duties this year as wideout and running back. Tyler has accumulated 310 yards rushing and 231 receiving. Another is Jake Kinney, who filled in at quarterback while senior QB Kade Gianinetti was injured early in the season, but now is back at RB, where he has totaled 449 yards and had his hand in eight TDs.With wideouts Kyle Raaflaub and Torrey Udall on the injured reserve, Kinney and the Hunts will be shifting around from RBs to WRs to keep Roaring Fork’s ground game on track as well as giving Gianinetti reliable targets to throw to. With his season cut in half after suffering a broken ribs in a partially collapsed lung in the season opener, Gianinetti has thrown for 321 yards and five TDs, while averaging over 13 yards per completion.”We’ve got some challenges with injuries, but we like the challenge,” Brinson said. “We accept it and we know that adversity makes you stronger.”
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Playing on the road at Cedaredge Tuesday, the Coal Ridge High School volleyball team scored a tough win in five sets, 3-2, over the Bruins.