Rams suffer rare home defeat
CARBONDALE – It’s not often Roaring Fork drops a game on their home field. Not to mention a league game.The Gunnison Cowboys used four turnovers and a rushing attack that produced more than 250 yards to upset the Rams 28-19. The loss was the first home league defeat since the opening game of the 2001 season.”We had a bad week of practice and it showed,” Roaring Fork coach Tory Jensen said. “Gunnison played hard and stayed in the game and stayed focused. Maybe we were a little high on ourselves.”It didn’t help that standout linebacker/running back/return man Jake Bowman was on the sidelines in street clothes.The Rams (3-1 Western Slope, 5-1 overall), who entered the game ranked No. 2 in Class 2A by RockyPreps, looked out of synch on both sides of the ball. Bowman’s absence was felt most on the defensive side of the ball, however, as innocent looking runs turned into big gains. Gunnison runners were able to break through Rams tackles and the swarming defense typical of Roaring Fork was a step late in support. Prior to Friday’s game Roaring Fork allowed less than a touchdown per game. Of course, the hard running of Cowboys backs should be credited as well.”It was hard work and execution and playing with a lot of heart,” said Gunnison fullback Chris Garcia, who scored three touchdowns and was one of two Cowboys to eclipse the 100-yard rushing mark.Garcia gave Gunnison (2-1, 2-4) its first lead of the game when he evened the score at 7-all with 1:14 left in the first quarter and, after a Rams three-and-out, turned a harmless looking run up the middle into a 56-yard touchdown in the opening minute of the second quarter. A blocked extra point by Christian Tena kept the Cowboys within six, but it took the Rams two trips into the red zone to level the scoreboard.The Cowboys stifled a drive when Brian Bollig picked off an Aaron Markham timing pattern pass to Parker Nieslanik in the end zone with 14 seconds left in the first half.Roaring Fork evened the score at 13-all when Cody Jeffryes capped the second-half opening drive with a 20-yard burst up the middle. Gunnison answered right back with a 12-play, 95-yard drive when Bollig found Mike Costello open for a touchdown reception from 6 yards out. Gunnison took a 21-13 lead when a bad snap forced the Gunnison holder to throw up a prayer that was tipped, then found the hands of Javier Trantow for the conversion.The Rams pulled back to 21-19 with 6:35 left in the game, but a Trantow interception that the Cowboys converted into a 3-yard Garcia touchdown sealed the contest with 1:49 remaining.”This team’s got a lot of heart, but things didn’t click,” Jensen said of his squad.Gunnison’s David Vader led all rushers with 111 yards. Tena finished the night with 101 yards.Roaring Fork hosts Class 3A Rifle in a nonleague game Friday.SoccerFelipe Sanchez scored all three goals as the Basalt Longhorns edged Roaring Fork 3-2 in Saturday’s rivalry soccer contest at Roaring Fork High School. Cy Eaton assisted on two of the goals and Ryan Zubizaretta also had an assist.Class 3A Western Slope League League-leading Basalt improves to 6-0-1 (9-1-1 overall), while Roaring Fork drops to 2-4-1 (3-8-1).Volleyball• In Friday’s volleyball contest, Roaring Fork rolled past Gunnison 3-2 (25-12, 25-17, 25-14). Roaring Fork remains undefeated in league play at 7-0 (9-3 overall). Gunnison sits 4-5 (9-6).• In Friday’s volleyball contest, Roaring Fork rolled past Gunnison 3-2 (25-12, 25-17, 25-14). Roaring Fork remains undefeated in league play at 7-0 (9-3 overall). Gunnison sits 4-5 (9-6).
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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.