Senior Matt Regan cheers as Storm Veilleux returns a punt for a touchdown in the second quarter of Friday's 54-6 win against Justice. Regan threw three touchdown passes — all to Veilleux — and ran for another in the team's home-opening victory.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Senior Matt Regan cheers as Storm Veilleux returns a punt for a touchdown in the second quarter of Friday's 54-6 win against Justice. Regan threw three touchdown passes — all to Veilleux — and ran for another in the team's home-opening victory.

Soroco football thunders by Justice in home opener

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— A storm hovered over the Soroco High School football field Friday night in Oak Creek, lightning forcing a delay and wind and rain peppering the crowd after kickoff.

And a Storm raged on the field.

Sophomore Storm Veilleux led the way through in a dominating performance by the Rams, who excelled in their home opener by running it up on Justice, 54-6. Veilleux scored five touchdowns in the rout.

“We knew he would be a good football player,” Soroco coach David Bruner said. “He’s gotten pretty serious about what he wants to do, and you can tell. He’s a shifty kid when he gets the ball. He has a lot of natural football savvy.”

Veilleux certainly didn’t do it alone, but he managed to quite adeptly display the all-phases dominance his team enjoyed in a game that never was close. He hauled in two touchdown passes from senior quarterback Matt Regan, all in the first 10 minutes of the first quarter. He then grabbed an interception and returned it for a touchdown, giving his team a 40-0 lead and setting a running clock with 2:07 left in the first quarter.

Finally, he returned a punt late in the second quarter, scoring Soroco’s final touchdown of the night.

“He’s fast, and he’s been working out hard,” Regan said. “He’s good at kick return, punt return and he can run routes.”

Soroco, 2-0, got other touchdowns from Regan, who scored the game’s first with a 10-yard bootleg. He also found Bjorn Carlson for a touchdown pass. Then senior Ian Palyo, who grabbed a punt off the kicker’s toe then ran into the end zone.

Top to bottom, beginning to end, offense to defense, Soroco controlled the game. Justice registered just two plays for positive yards in the first half. Thanks to the interception return, the punt block and the punt return touchdowns, the Rams didn’t run a single offensive play for 14 minutes.

After the game, only one question loomed large: “What does pounding Justice actually mean?”

Sure, Soroco was miles better than Friday’s undermanned opponent. The Rams were better a year ago, too, outscoring its first three opponents, including Justice, 183-6. That dominance preceded a miserable 1-4 run through the meat of the league schedule.

“We have more depth this year,” Regan said. “We can rest more. We have some guys who only play one side of the ball, and they can really focus more.

“We were definitely fast last year, but now we have multiple kids who can step up and do those same things.”

Having already outscored opponents, 104-12, this season and with another lopsided win likely looming with Friday’s trip to Plateau Valley, there are plenty of similarities to the Rams’ rise a year ago. They’re hoping this team, as deep and as physically large as any they’ve had in a decade, can avoid the same fall.

“Our guys know there are things we have to work on,” Bruner said.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com

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