Steamboat Springs After a 28-15 win against previously unbeaten Dove Creek on Friday night, the members of the Soroco Rams football team walked off the field feeling like they had learned more than how to win a football game. They felt like they had learned what it takes to be champions.
"Coach (David) Bruner told us this is what champions are made of, and we had to make a stop right there," Soroco linebacker David Strait said. "So we pulled it together, and we knew we had to get it done."
Dove Creek needed less than a yard to keep its hopes for a late game run alive with less than two minutes left to play. The team had built some momentum behind its power running back, Justin Guynes.
Guynes sparked a sustained drive with runs of 10 yards and nine yards. But a couple of solid defense plays by Strait and teammate Gage Achtner had forced a fourth-and-one.
"Basically, the coaches told us to give it all we had," Achtner said. "This is a team that beat us easily last year. It was a very good team, and we didn't want to give them any hope."
As expected, the Bulldogs put the game in the hands of their top runner, but Guynes was stopped short of the mark, and Bruner said that was the turning point of the game.
"Our kids played great, and they've worked really hard to get to where they are," Bruner said after the game. "We played kind of conservatively on offense in the second half, but our defense came through when it was on the line."
The victory boosted the Rams to 6-0 this season and dropped Dove Creek to 5-1. The game started with a scoreless first quarter, but in the second, both teams came to life, scoring 29 points, including 19 in the first couple of minutes.
The first of two Rams touchdowns came on the opening play of the second quarter when Cody Miles hit A.J. Anderson with a six-yard pass for a touchdown. The two-point conversion failed, but the Rams had a 6-0 lead. The Rams completed a successful onside kick on the ensuing kickoff and were rewarded with good field position. The home team took advantage as Alex Estes scored on a 43-yard touchdown run. The conversion failed, but the Rams took a 12-0 lead.
Dove Creek got on the board on the next possession when Levi Randolph broke a 50-yard run up the middle for the Bulldogs' first touchdown. The scoring parade continued as Miles hit Pie Lombardi with a 45-yard touchdown pass. Miles connected with Jacob Hange to bring the Rams' total to 20 in the second quarter. Dove Creek got a safety later in the quarter when Miles tried to unload a pass from his own end zone. The pass was ruled intentional grounding, making the score 20-9 at the break.
In the second half, Hange pulled in a pass for a 60-yard touchdown. Lombardi pulled in Miles' pass to complete the two-point conversion to extend the Rams lead to 28-9. Guyner rushed for another touchdown to make the final score 28-15.