Soroco shoots for 2-0

Longmont Christian packs a powerful running game

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If you go

What: Soroco (1-0) vs. Longmont Christian (1-0) football

When: 1:30 p.m. today

Where: Soroco High School in Oak Creek

— The Soroco High School football team is playing an entirely different brand of football, in a different division and against different opponents.

That didn't stop the Rams last week, as the team rolled to a 51-26 season-opening victory against North Park.

But coach David Bruner couldn't put to bed all his old fears, as he swapped his best players out so they played only sporadically from the middle of the second quarter to the end of the game.

Sure, some of it was sportsmanship - in previous seasons, the Rams have been on the other end of lopsided losses. And some of it was to gain experience for second-stringers and junior varsity players.

"A big part of it was, I just didn't want to get anyone hurt," Bruner said, after the game.

Injuries have crippled the Rams in the past and already have levied a big blow this season, sidelining junior running back Alex Estes for the year with a broken leg. Last week's starting tight end, Dylan Delamater, also will be out for today's game.

The switch to eight-man football could mean a welcome change of pace for quarterback Cody Miles, running back Mike White and Soroco's other top players. They can't expect lopsided wins all season, however, and could find their hands full at 1:30 p.m. today when the Rams welcome Longmont Christian.

The Warriors were just 3-5 a year ago, but in their season opener they blew past a Maranatha Christian team that last year finished 7-3. Longmont won the game, 39-0, racking up huge offensive yardage with a three-headed running attack.

Sophomore Wes Bennett led the way with 183 yards and three touchdowns.

"He really surprised us and really did a great job," Warriors coach Carl Christensen said. "The kids played well. Maranatha is down a little this year and doesn't have many kids out, but neither do we."

The team has another experienced running back in Wes's brother, Austin Bennett, and experience with junior Aaron Praska at quarterback. The lack of depth may be his team's biggest weakness, Christensen said. His squad has eight experienced starters but only freshmen to fill in.

"It was nice to see us execute last week, but we don't know how we'll stack up against Soroco," Christensen said. "We don't know much about them. We've been working on about everything we can think of an eight-man team might do."

- To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 871-4253 or e-mail jreichenberger@steamboatpilot.com

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