Kremmling –  Mustang offense leads team to 35-14 win |

Kremmling –  Mustang offense leads team to 35-14 win

Larry Banman
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County, CO Colorado

The West Grand Mustang football team generated over 300 yards of offense and defeated Lake County 35-14 last Friday night in Kremmling.

Chase Hill started the scoring with a touchdown and Travis Gore then found the end zone four times as the Mustangs pulled away to victory. Counting last week’s forfeit win against New Direction Academy, West Grand evened its record for the season at 2-2.

Last Friday night’s game was a battle for most of the first half, as the teams traded touchdowns. As the first half came to a close, West Grand ended a Lake County threat when a Nick Federico pass was intercepted by Gore in the Mustang end zone. That kept the score at 20-14 and would be the last time that the Panthers would threaten to score.

West Grand ballcarriers ran for 204 yards, with Gore leading the way with 109 yards on 19 carries. Tim Ritschard added 61 yards on nine carries, Hill had 28 yards on seven carries and Travis Smith earned nine yards on three carries.

Ritschard hit on six of 12 passes for 97 yards and one touchdown. Four different receivers caught passes, with Gore, Hill, Stetson Sabados and Luke Miller all earning yardage through the air.

The game started with both teams earning tough yards, mostly on the ground, and trading punts. A penalty on a punt helped change the game. Sabados, who was back to receive the punt signaled for a fair catch but was leveled anyway by a Lake County defender who didn’t see the signal.

The Mustangs moved quickly downfield, with a Gore 23-yard run being the biggest play. Hill capped the drive with a three-yard plunge and Ritschard tacked on the PAT for a 7-0 lead.

Lake County quickly responded with a 62-yard drive on four plays. Federico hit Teddy Gurule on a 25-yard touchdown pass and Randy Mondragon ran in a two-yard conversion to quickly give Lake County an 8-7 lead.

The Panthers forced a Mustangs punt on the ensuing possession and looked to moved the ball downfield again. Federico tried a long pass to Gurule again and this time West Grand safety Luke Miller stepped in front of the pass and made the interception. He then ran the ball back 30 yards to the Lake County 27-yard line.

West Grand immediately capitalized as Ritschard utilized a good block by Gore to scamper 26-yards down the sideline to the one-yard line. The Mustangs scored three plays later as Gore took at Ritschard pitch and dove into the end zone. The PAT by Ritschard was again true and West Grand held a 14-8 lead.

Lake County came back tie the game when they scored on a short run by Gurule. The PAT run was stopped by West Grand to keep the score knotted at 14 points apiece.

The Mustangs were able, however, to respond quickly as they scored again on a 62-yard, three-play drive. Ritschard hit Gore for an 18-yard gain and then Ritschard ran for 24-yards. Gore finished the drive with a 21-yard touchdown scamper. Even though Ritschard missed the PAT, the Mustangs had a lead they would not relinquish.

The first Mustang score of the second half came after taking the kickoff on their own 40-yard line and driving methodically down the field, scoring on a 23-yard fourth-down pass from Ritschard to Gore. Ritschard then hit Miller for a two-point conversion and the lead stretched to 28-14.

On the ensuing kickoff, Ritschard didn’t catch the ball flush with his foot and he popped it over the first line of Panther defenders. Freshman Kiley O’Brien raced downfield and recovered what appeared to be a perfect onside kick. The Mustangs quickly capitalized and scored their final touchdown of the evening as Gore scored on a short touchdown run. Ritschard was true on the PAT and the final score of the evening was secured.

There were no points scored in the fourth quarter as neither team could really put together a scoring drive.