Rams top Titans in 3A showdown
CARBONDALE — In a matchup of two teams with identical overall and Western Slope League records (3-4, 1-2), the Roaring Fork Rams pulled out a convincing 27-0 victory over the Coal Ridge Titans and moved to the .500 mark for the season with one game remaining for both teams on the 2015 conference schedule.
The Roaring Fork game plan initially was to ride the legs of running backs Aldo Pinela, Finn Featherstone and Max Slack.
The plan went accordingly for the Rams as Slack burst through the middle of the line for a 30-yard touchdown ramble to give his team the lead. Slack’s run, in good field position, was aided by a long punt return from Hector Flores to set up the Rams deep in Coal Ridge territory. The PAT by senior Colin O’Gorman was good to make the score 7-0.
Coal Ridge’s offense was never able to get on track in the first half. The rushing of junior Cameron Chacon was a bright spot to fall back on, but several turnovers, including a fumble by Coal Ridge quarterback Jaime Zamarron early in the second quarter, set Roaring Fork up at the Titan 30-yard line, and gave them a golden opportunity to score.
A wide-right 35-yard field goal attempt by O’Gorman left the Rams empty handed, but another Coal Ridge fumble — this time by Chacon — gave Roaring Fork the ball back just 18 yards from the end zone.
When Ram quarterback Hayden Bernot executed a nice play-action fake and raced for a 10-yard touchdown with 8:06 to go in the first half, Roaring Fork was up 14-0 on senior night in Carbondale.
Following yet another Titan miscue, Bernot, who was accurate most of the night on his passes, hit Pinela for 30 yards down the field, and then receiver Alex Dominguez for another nice gain that put the Rams close to the goal line. A key penalty, and a bad snap on the field goal attempt kept the margin for Roaring Fork at two touchdowns at intermission.
Coal Ridge opened the second half with the ball and a new quarterback at the helm in junior Jacob Morgan. The Titans still managed just a three-and-out, and the ball went right back to the Rams.
Roaring Fork wasn’t able to move the ball on their initial possession of the half, but they made the most of their second series on offense. Featherstone took a handoff from Bernot and broke hard up the middle, and 44 yards later Roaring Fork had a commanding three touchdown lead with 4:13 to play in the third quarter.
The Rams tacked on a final, long touchdown march in the fourth stanza. Bernot gained big chunks of the yardage on three quarterback keepers, and Flores marched in the last seven yards for the touchdown to make the final margin of victory 27-0.
Roaring Fork coach Jeff Kelley and his team have a chance to finish the season with a winning record if they call pull off an upset next Friday in Craig against the Moffat County Bulldogs. It’s a goal the coach and his players have their sights set on.
“We would like to finish with a winning season. It’s something that hasn’t happened for a few years in this program,” Kelley said. “I’m very proud of our seniors on this team. We had 13 seniors play in the game tonight and they played their hearts out. That’s why we won.”
Coal Ridge will finish the season next week with a trip to Edwards to take on the Battle Mountain Huskies.
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