Prep Football: Rams hold on to top rival Longhorns
CARBONDALE — The Roaring Fork High School football team secured its first Class 2A Western Slope League North win on Friday night, edging valley rival Basalt in a close 14-10 encounter.
Roaring Fork chose to throw a little caution to the wind at the start of the game by trying an onside kick. Basalt recovered the kick with excellent field position on their own 47 yard line but was unable to get anything going offensively. The Longhorns did penetrate deep into Rams territory after a Roaring Fork punt, with a 15-yard run by senior running back Richie Guerrero setting his team up at the Rams’ 18-yard-line.
The Basalt drive stalled, however, and the visitors had to settle for a 20-yard field goal by kicker David Flores at the 2 minute, 43 second mark of the opening quarter for a 3-0 lead.
The second quarter saw Rams receiver Roy Benge come up with a series of big plays to get his team headed in the right direction.
Benge first pounced on a fumble by Basalt return man Alex Nakagawa to give his team favorable field position. Then, with 2:43 left until the half, Benge found himself wide open and on the receiving end of a tight spiral by quarterback Tyler Spence for a 60-yard touchdown strike. The two-point try was carried into the end zone by Sergio Vega to give Roaring Fork an 8-3 lead.
Benge closed the half with an interception of Longhorn quarterback Miles Levy at the goal line to preserve his team’s lead.
Basalt running back Josue Vigil helped move the Longhorns down the field on their first possession of the second half, carrying the ball for positive yardage on several carries. The Basalt drive was helped along when Martin Castillo hauled in a reception on a fake punt to set his team up at the Rams’ 15-yard line. Nakagawa ran in for the score from 2 yards out, and Basalt found itself up 10-8 following the point-after kick by Flores.
Roaring Fork got itself going on the decisive drive in the fourth quarter, with a key play being the Spence-to-Benge connection on a 15-yard pass play. It was then that running back Jose Lopez, who had been held in check for much of the evening, took a pitch from Spence and rambled 20 yards down the right sideline to the Basalt 7. Spence then scored with just over 9 minutes to play on a quarterback keeper. The two-point try was no good, and the score stood at 14-10.
Basalt had one final chance for victory, but as the Longhorns were moving the ball into Ram territory, Nakagawa had the ball stripped from him at the end of a nice gainer. The ball was recovered by Roaring Fork.
With the win, Roaring Fork improved to 2-5 overall and 1-2 in the WSL North. The Rams will travel to Coal Ridge next Friday.
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The Coal Ridge High boys suffered their first 3A Western Slope League loss of the year Thursday night on the road at Gunnison, falling to the defending league champion Cowboys 65-45.