Soroco senior Mike Davis streaks down the field for the Rams' first touchdown Saturday. Soroco grabbed a 30-20 lead in the third quarter against Plateau Valley, but couldn't hang on, falling, 42-30.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Soroco senior Mike Davis streaks down the field for the Rams' first touchdown Saturday. Soroco grabbed a 30-20 lead in the third quarter against Plateau Valley, but couldn't hang on, falling, 42-30.

Fourth quarter too much for Soroco

Cowboys corral Rams with 22-point final frame

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Game statistics

Plateau Valley Soroco

18 First Downs 11

44-332 Rushes-Yards 24-161

6-18-1 Comp-Att-Int 6-25-5

74 Yards Passing 163

406 Total Yards 324

2-36 Punts-Avg. 5-27

3-1 Fumbles-lost 1-1

7-55 Penalties-Yards 6-53

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Plateau Valley 00-14-06-22-42

Soroco 06-08-16-00-30

SCORING SUMMARY

First Quarter

S - 0:52 Mike Davis 40-yard pass from Cody Miles. (Pass failed.)

Second Quarter

S - 9:12 Safety

PV - 5:46 Eugene Vigil 30-yard run. (Thomas Samuels pass from Vigil.)

S - 5:29 Michael Rossi 15-yard pass from Miles, lateral to Davis for 53 yards. (Pass failed.)

PV - 0:27 DJ Shuman 4-yard pass from Vigil. (Kick failed.)

Third Quarter

PV - 9:25 Samuels 26-yard run. (Pass failed.)

S - 7:31 Miles 62-yard run. (Jacob Hange pass from Miles.)

S - 2:07 Miles 2-yard run. (Hange pass from Miles.)

Fourth Quarter

PV - 10:09 Vigil 25-yard run. (Shuman pass from Vigil.)

PV - Joshua Oliver 4-yard run. (Shuman pass from Vigil.)

PV - Oliver 3-yard run. (Pass failed.)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing

PV - Samuels 24-198 1 TD, Joshua Oliver 7-26 2 TD, Landrey Coon 1-2, Vigil 10-101 2 TD, Mark Knutz 2-5.

S - Davis 6-34, Miles 13-113 2 TD, Hange 5-14.

Passing

PV - Dalton Shuman 1-6-0 18 yards, Vigil 5-12-1 56 yards.

S - Miles 6-24-4 95 yards 1 TD, Pie Lombardi 0-1-1.

Receiving

PV - DJ Shuman 4-34 1 TD, Adam Evarts 2-40.

S - Davis 5-143 2 TD, Hange 1-6, Rossi 1-15.

— It appeared several times that Soroco might be ready to run away with Saturday's football showdown against Plateau Valley.

The Cowboys quarterback left the game with an injury in the second quarter and the Rams swarmed his replacement for a quick safety, grabbing all the game's momentum.

Then, late in the third quarter, the Rams cashed in a fumble for a touchdown and made the two-point conversion. Again, everything appeared to be going Soroco High School's way as the team led by 10.

The Rams couldn't stop Plateau Valley's makeshift offense, however, yielding big yards on a pair of fourth-quarter, fourth-down plays. The Cowboys took advantage and left Soroco stunned on senior day, 42-30.

"It came down to two plays - we let them convert on both of those fourth downs," Bruner said. "It's something we have to learn from. We had chances to make plays, but we just didn't do it."

Plateau Valley (3-2) trailed, 30-20, early in the fourth quarter, but senior Eugene Vigil, who came on as the backup quarterback, engineered three late scoring drives to put the Cowboys on top.

The keys to each were fierce counter-plays from Plateau Valley running back Thomas Samuels and several huge fourth-down conversions by Vigil. Samuels finished with 198 yards and one touchdown while Vigil had 157 yards and three scores.

He scored while facing fourth and 25 from the 26-yard line, scrambling up the middle of the field to cap a 14-play drive.

Soroco fumbled the ball right back to Plateau Valley two plays later. Vigil, this time, converted a fourth and 16 from the 32-yard line with a 28-yard pass to Adam Evarts. The sophomore receiver made a leaping grab and wrestled the ball away from a Soroco defender.

Joshua Oliver smashed into the end zone one play later from four yards out, for one of his two late touchdowns, giving Plateau Valley the lead for good.

"I was really nervous. I usually only get a couple reps in practice," Vigil said of entering the game in the second quarter. "Our counter-treys kept working later in the game. I'd fake it to the fullback, then hand it to the halfback. Their linebackers were crashing in on it every time."

The Rams (3-2) played Saturday without four starters who Bruner said missed the game after being suspended from school. They still seemed to have things under control early.

Senior Mike Davis took a pass from junior Cody Miles 40 yards for a first-quarter touchdown. Soroco went up 8-0 after the safety early in the second quarter.

The Rams also scored on a 68-yard hook-and-ladder play that went from Miles to Michael Rossi to Davis.

They appeared to be in total control in the third quarter. Miles streaked 62 yards for a touchdown, then rolled in again moments later after the Cowboy fumble.

"We loosened them up like I thought we could by passing early. Then we were able to run in the third quarter," Bruner said. "It got to be 30-20, and we got tired. We only had eight guys playing, and we just got tired."

Desperation showed as the clock ticked down. Soroco turned the ball over six times Saturday, four coming in the fourth quarter.

"Now we'll go back to the drawing board next week and get ready for Dove Creek," Bruner said.

The Rams hit the road for the rest of the season, next playing at 1 p.m. Saturday at undefeated Dove Creek.

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