Meeker It only took seven plays for the Soroco Rams to earn the team's first playoff berth since 1988 on Monday in Meeker.
"This is awesome," Soroco back Jack Means said after beating Plateau Valley 7-0 in a tiebreaker Monday that determined the final playoff berth from the league.
The Rams moved the ball 80 yards on the team's first possession and capped it off with a 36-yard touchdown pass from Kory Babcock to C.J. Remick for the score. Trevor Ellis added the extra point to give the Rams a 7-0 lead with 9 minutes, 44 seconds left in the first quarter.
"The whole team says I'm cursed," Remick said. "Usually, I'm tackled at the 3- or 4-yard line. But not this time."
After gaining the early advantage in the tiebreaker, the Rams defense took over and shut down the Cowboys offense for the remainder of the half.
Soroco held Plateau Valley to just one first down and played the entire second quarter deep in the Cowboys territory.
"We made some big mistakes," Soroco coach Gary Heide said. "But we were able to overcome them."
Soroco saw two potential scoring drives end in fumbles in the second quarter. Both times, the Soroco defense stepped it up to keep the Cowboys from moving the ball. Soroco's Joel Manzaneres intercepted Plateau Valley's Mike Murillo once. The other time, the Cowboys were forced to punt the ball.
"I can't say enough about our defense tonight," Heide said. "When we made mistakes, they made sure that it didn't hurt us. We were able to control the ball all night."
Soroco comes out on top of the 3-way tiebreaker, which was recommended by the Colorado High School Association's board of control earlier this week. Since the league did not have its tiebreaking measures on file, the tiebreakers were necessary.
Grand Valley and Plateau Valley squared off for a single half of football at Meeker's Starbuck field first. Soroco won a coin toss and waited to face the winner of the first half.
The team that won the final game was awarded the Western Slope's 1A League's final playoff spot.
Plateau Valley defeated Grand Valley 14-13 in overtime of the first half. Then Soroco held on to defeat Plateau Valley in the second half -- and earn the trip to the first round playoff game in Akron this weekend.
"We played as a team tonight," Means said. "Getting to the playoffs is something most of the seniors have dreamed about. Now it's finally here."
-- To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.