Prep football: Big plays too much for Roaring Fork to handle
Post Independent Sports Editor
CARBONDALE — Tory Jensen is trying to change the culture of Roaring Fork High School football. It’s the culture which has kept the Rams from having a winning season since 2006.
After Saturday’s 28-6 nonleague loss to Ridge View Academy, Jensen wasn’t too happy about the progress the Rams are making.
“Right now, our guys are missing discipline and the whole team concept,” Jensen said. “They’ll figure it out soon.”
To be sure, the game wasn’t as lopsided as the score would indicate. The Rams (2-2 overall) limited Ridge View (2-1) to just 147 yards of total offense, and quarterback Gavin Pacehco was 0-for-9 passing the ball. But the biggest difference were the big plays by Ridge View, which included a 72-yard punt return for a touchdown from Erik Daniels and a 25-yard fumble return for a score from Pacehco on defense, with both plays coming within 30 seconds of each other in the second quarter.
By contrast, however, Ridge View, a correctional school on the southeast outskirts of Denver, limited Roaring Fork to just 149 yards of total offense. Ridge View also forced five turnovers and six fumbles, with three of those fumbles lost in the first half.
That helped Ridge View, also nicknamed the Rams, to take a 22-0 halftime lead and put Roaring Fork in a proverbial hole it couldn’t climb out of.
“This game is more mental than physical,” said Jensen, speaking of the mistakes his team made. “That’s a lesson we should have learned today, and I hope they figure that out.”
Ridge View went up 8-0 on a 2-yard touchdown run from Galen Armstrong and a conversion run from Daniels with 8 minutes, 52 seconds remaining before halftime. Then with 2:27 left in the second quarter, Daniels broke off his 72-yard punt return for a score down the left sideline, giving Ridge View a 16-0 lead following a conversion run from Pacehco.
On Roaring Fork’s ensuing possession, a pitch from quarterback Tyler Spence went well into the backfield, and Pacehco, playing linebacker, scooped it up and rumbled into the end zone with 2:08 on the clock.
Roaring Fork fought back, though, pulling within 22-6 on a 12-yard TD pass from Nate Nieslanik to Roy Benge with 11:12 on the clock.
But Ridge View held the ball and essentially sealed the win when, with 3:55 remaining, Daniels ran into the end zone from 10 yards out on a fourth-and-goal play.
Roaring Fork plays again on Friday when it opens league play with its Homecoming game against Paonia.
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