Soroco football set for playoffs

Tough matchup today in Greeley

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If you go

What: Soroco High School

football at Dayspring Christian Academy

When: 1 p.m. today

Where: Dayspring Christian, Greeley

— Dayspring Christian Aca­­­demy football coach Mick Hol­mes hesitated when asked whether his athletes were comfortable in the postseason.

“I don’t know if anyone’s ever comfortable like that,” he said.

Comfort­able or not, they’re most definitely experienced there, and that experience provides the first obstacle as Soroco looks to gain its own playoff experience.

The Rams travel for a 1 p.m. game today at Dayspring Chris­tian in Greeley.

“The kids are super excited,” Soroco coach David Bruner said. “We had a great week of practice. Wednesday was the best practice we’ve had all year. We have had good preparation and a good game plan. We know we need to play well, and we’re ready.”

Soroco will find itself opposite one of the state’s premier powers when it takes the field today. Dayspring Christian, ranked No. 4 in the state, has been nearly unbeatable since Holmes began his second stint with the program in 2006. It made the 8-man state championship game the past three seasons, and won it in 2007 and 2008.

Holmes said his group is ready for another run this year. They beat up on Merino early in the season, but lost to Caliche to fall to second in the Plains Division of the North Conference.

Soroco and Dayspring Chris­tian have just two common opponents. Both teams beat up on Vail Christian. The Eagles, meanwhile, also beat West Grand solidly, 54-36. That same West Grand team beat Soroco earlier in the month, 46-6.

“We have a couple good football players, and we rely on them,” Holmes said. “Offensively, the shining part of our team has been our rushing attack.”

Quarterback Eli Miller ran for 389 yards last week in a rout against Longmont Christian.

That’s daunting, Bruner said. He labeled the key as stopping the long plays.

“We adjusted our defense so he won’t have as many of those breakaway runs,” Bruner said.

“That’s how he’s gotten a big chunk of his yardage. He’s a good athlete, one of the best around, and our hands will be full.”

The Rams hope to receive a boost of their own at quarterback when sophomore Nic Paxton returns to the lineup after a thumb injury earlier in the season.

He helped guide the team to big points in early games, but the offense faltered without his strong arm late in the season.

“That’s great news for our offense,” Bruner said. “We will have to go in and throw the ball. In our practices this week, we’ve looked like a different team on offense. Nic really gives us an extra dimension, and that’s exciting.

“We know we’ll have to play well, get some breaks and not turn the ball over. But if we do that, we can match up with them and compete. They have one of the better programs year in and year out, and we want to become one of those programs.”

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