First Downs: Nucla 5; Soroco 16
Rushes-Yards: Nucla 17-108; Soroco 27-169
Comp-Att-Int: Nucla 8-17-1; Soroco 7-12-0
Yards Passing: Nucla 42; Soroco 204
Total Yards: Nucla 150; Soroco 373
Punts-Avg.: Nucla 6-29; Soroco 2-18
Fumbles-lost: Nucla 0-0, Soroco 1-0
Penalties-Yards: Nucla 3-15; Soroco 2-20
SCORE BY QUARTERS
S: 7:10 Cody Miles 2-yard run. (Pass failed)
S: 5:09 Ryan Tibbetts 57-yard pass from Miles. (Kick failed)
S: 2:25 Miles 1-yard run. (Pass failed)
S: 11:03 Miles 2-yard run. (Pass failed)
N: 10:42 Seth Knob 80-yard run. (Dirk Smuin pass from Justin Goforth)
S: 9:36 Tibbetts 27-yard pass from Miles. (Michael Rossi pass from Miles)
S: 9:06 Tibbetts 26-yard pass from Miles. (Miles run)
S: 6:13 Safety. Goforth tackled in endzone by Mike Davis.
S: 5:29 Tibbetts 20-yard pass from Miles. (Davis pass from Miles)
S: Miles 1-yard run. (Davis kick)
N: 9:45 Dirk Smuin 4-yard pass from Destry Smith. (Pass failed)
N: 3:34 Knob 28-yard run. (Eric Galarza pass from Smith)
N: Knob 4-115 2 TD, Robert Jenkins 3-5, Jon Denney 1-3, Galarza 3-6, Goforth 3-(-2), Smith 3-32.
S: Davis 6-54, Miles 9-83 4 TD, Tibbetts 3-15, Jacob Hange 2-15, Richard Gonzales 2-(-4), Pie Lombardi 3-10, Jaden Baker 2-6.
N: Smith 8-17-1 42 yards 1 TD
S: Miles 7-12-0 204 yards 4 TD
Tibbetts 5-144 4 TD, Rossi 1-40, Robert Anderson 1-40.
Oak Creek Soroco's Saturday afternoon homecoming football game against Nucla was a comedy of errors at times.
One Mustang punt flew straight up, then bounced backwards and across the line of scrimmage. Soroco's Mike Davis - crowned homecoming king before the game - burned the entire Nucla team on a punt return, but dropped the ball at the 10-yard line. Nucla was once flagged and twice reminded by the officials for having nine men on offense. And a stray dog wandered on the field midway through the second quarter.
The Rams were doing all the laughing, however, controlling the game almost from the opening kickoff. Soroco High School rolled Saturday, winning its homecoming game for the first time in nine years, 57-22, against Nucla, a team hailing from a small town southwest of Montrose.
"That was just good execution in the game," Soroco senior Ryan Tibbetts said. "We had all the right play calls and our defense was great."
Nucla gained 19 yards on the second play of the game, but Soroco forced a punt and began a methodical offensive assault that resulted in gawdy stats across the roster.
Soroco junior Cody Miles capped an eight-play, 61-yard drive with a two-yard quarterback sneak for his team's first touchdown, then connected with Tibbetts for a 57-yard score on the next possession.
Nucla's only first-half response came early in the second quarter, when sophomore Seth Knob flew 80 yards for a touchdown. That made the score 24-8, but a rousing defensive performance and Soroco's same offensive grind ensured the game would never be in doubt.
"We missed a tackle and had two kids trip on that touchdown. Otherwise, our first-team defense might have held them scoreless," Bruner said. "We passed the ball really well, and it was something we worked on all week. It's always good when you see something you work on so much pays off in a game."
The Miles-to-Tibbetts connection proved especially potent. The pair connected for four touchdowns and Tibbetts had 144 yards receiving, all in the first half. Tibbetts ran 37 yards after the catch for his first touchdown, then scored on passes of 27, 26 and 20 yards.
He repeatedly found a wide-open hole 10 yards down the field to Miles' left. The pair abused the Mustangs with seemingly the same play, until the varsity offense was pulled after the first drive of the second half.
"Some of the coaches I talked to about (Nucla) said they were susceptible to the pass and weak to that side, so we attacked it," Bruner said.
Soroco's offense used big plays to move down the field, scoring twice on two-play touchdown drives, on two three-play drives, one four-play drive and a five-play drive. When he wasn't tossing touchdowns to Tibbetts, Miles ran it in himself, scoring on the ground four times.
Passing or running, Miles was a part of every Soroco score except an extra point Mike Davis kicked through and a safety Davis recorded in the second quarter.
Miles and the rest of the Rams' varsity squad earned a spot on the bench through most of the second half. They watched as time expired on their most lopsided win in years.
"It's been nine years since we won homecoming, and it feels good just to do it for all the parents and fans in the stands. That's who we did it for," Tibbetts said.