Roaring Fork gets the Brush-off in overtime
The Roaring Fork football team had another comeback left in its tank, but the Beetdiggers did the Rams one better in Saturday’s Class 2A quarterfinal playoff game in Brush.Staff ReportThe Roaring Fork football team had another comeback left in its tank, but the Beetdiggers did the Rams one better in Saturday’s Class 2A quarterfinal playoff game in Brush.Roaring Fork rallied from a 21-point deficit to send the game into overtime, but Brush converted a win-or-lose 2-point conversion in the first overtime for the 29-28 victory.It took Roaring Fork just two plays to score in overtime. Quarterback Aaron Markham hit Christian Tena on a 7-yard slant to give the Rams their first lead of the game at 28-21.
It took the Beetdiggers a little longer to reach the end zone in their first overtime series, but they made it count.During overtime each team typically gets four downs to score from the 10-yard line. Thanks to a pass interference call against the Rams on third-and-goal, Brush was awarded a fresh set of downs at the five.”It’s a tough call to make in the overtime of that type of game, but we’ve got to live with it,” Roaring Fork coach Tory Jensen said.Brush running back Greg Genho carried the ball the next four plays, finally punching it in from the 1-yard line on fourth-and-goal for his third touchdown of the game to bring the Beetdiggers within one point.Then came the gutsy call from Brush coach Randy Dreitz. Rather than kick the extra point and take their chances in another overtime round, Dreitz opted to go for broke with the 2-point conversion. “It took them seven plays to get a touchdown and I think in his mind he was probably thinking, ‘Roaring Fork has all the momentum and we’ve got to win it here,'” Jensen said.
It turned out to be the right call. Tight end Matt Dreitz released off the line and quarterback Matt Ely hit him in the end zone for the game winner.The conversion was similar to a play Dreitz scored a touchdown on in the first half when Brush threatened to turn the game into a rout. The Beatdiggers took a 21-0 lead into intermission after taking advantage of Roaring Fork turnovers for two touchdowns. Along with Dreitz’s score, Genho had a pair of short TD runs.”More than anything, it was a tale of two halves,” Jensen said. “They came out firing on all cylinders in the first half and we blew some chances and had trouble executing.”But the Rams, who trailed at the half in each of their last two games, can’t be counted out, regardless of the score.It took just 20 second for the Rams to get on the board after halftime as Markham hit Parker Nieslanik for a 72-yard touchdown. The Roaring Fork defense began to dominate and Jake Bowman leaped over the pile from 2 yards out to make it a seven-point game with 2:21 left in the third quarter.A Rams’ fumble early in the fourth quarter gave Brush a short field, but Tyler Hunt recovered a Brush fumble inside the Roaring Fork 10 to keep it a one-touchdown game.
Roaring Fork took advantage with a 92-yard drive, capped by a 55-yard touchdown pass from Markham to Hunt to even the score at 21-all with 3:53 to play.”It’s been an unbelievable season and a great, great group of kids with a never-say-die attitude,” Jensen said. “They came out in the second half and put themselves in a position to win.”It’s been a good ride,” he added. “Unfortunately, it didn’t end the way we wanted it to.”Markham, a senior, finished with 243 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Juniors Nieslanik and Bowman had solid days with Nieslanik racking up six catches for 127 yards and Bowman rushing for 106 yards in front of a solid contingent of Rams supporters who made the trip. “It was awesome that so many people traveled over to watch the game,” Jensen said. “This senior class of boys did a fantastic job,” Jensen added. “And thanks to my coaches. They coached their butts off. …These guys make my life easy and they do an unbelievable job with the kids – complete dedication.””This senior class of boys did a fantastic job,” Jensen added. “And thanks to my coaches. They coached their butts off. …These guys make my life easy and they do an unbelievable job with the kids – complete dedication.”
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