Turnovers doom Rams in 34-10 playoff loss to Monte Vista | PostIndependent.com

Turnovers doom Rams in 34-10 playoff loss to Monte Vista

MONTE VISTA – Roaring Fork couldn’t overcome its mistakes as Monte Vista knocked the Rams out of postseason play with a 34-10 victory here Saturday afternoon.

Monte Vista converted two second-quarter turnovers into 13 points and turned a tight first-round Class 2A state playoff game into a blowout.

“We pretty much didn’t execute, and hats off to Monte Vista,” Roaring Fork head coach Tory Jensen said. “I have no idea (what the problem was), a lack of concentration maybe. We ran plays we’ve run for a long time and, for whatever reason, we didn’t get it done.”

Leading 14-10 in the second quarter, Pirates’ linebacker/quarterback Ben Carlucci stepped in front of an Evan Carmichael flare pass and returned the interception roughly 50 yards for his second of four touchdowns and a 20-10 Monte Vista lead.

On the next Rams’ offensive play, a Carmichael pitch to James Leonard ended up on the ground and Monte Vista recovered the fumble at the Rams’ 24-yard line.

The Roaring Fork defense forced the Pirates into a fourth-and-14 situation at the 28-yard line, but Carlucci hit receiver Micah Trujillo on a fade route to the 6-yard line. Carlucci capped the short drive with a 2-yard run up the middle for a 27-10 lead.

“In high school football so much of the game is played on emotion,” Jensen said. “Theirs was up and ours was down and that got us.”

While the cold, gusting winds weren’t conducive to a comeback, the Rams looked to be on their way to getting back into the contest after recovering an onside kick to open the second half.

The rally was brief, however, as Monte Vista recovered a Leonard fumble on the next play.

Neither team was able to mount much offense in the second half until Carlucci scored with 5:34 left in the game for the 34-10 final.

The Pirates intercepted Roaring Fork four times in the game, and also recovered three Rams fumbles.

In the first quarter, Roaring Fork was the beneficiary of a Monte Vista turnover. The Rams recovered a Pirate fumble on Monte Vista’s opening drive and converted the play into a 40-yard Max Green field goal for a 3-0 lead.

On the ensuing drive, Carlucci gave Monte Vista its first lead of the game with a 50-yard touchdown run with 6:30 left in the first quarter.

Carmichael hit Chad Minor for a 21-yard touchdown strike on the next drive to regain the lead at 10-7 with 2:26 left in the first, but it was the final time the Rams would score on the contest.

“Obviously, we would have liked to have taken a couple more steps in this process, but the senior class went to the playoffs every year and taught the other kids about the integrity of this program,” Jensen said. “Congratulations to the kids. They had a good season and worked really hard. And thanks to the coaching staff, they did an amazing job.

The Rams finish the season with a 7-3 record, while Monte Vista (9-1) faces the state’s No. 1-ranked Class 2A team in Holy Family (10-0) in the quarterfinal round.

In other playoff action, Western Slope Conference champion Eagle Valley (10-0) defeated Wray (5-5) by a 35-0 margin.

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