WG football season ends in loss to Tigers | SkyHiNews.com

WG football season ends in loss to Tigers

by Larry Bannman
Sky-Hi Daily News
Kremmling, CO Colorado

Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News

The West Grand Mustang football team dropped its final game of the year Friday night, 35-7, to the Hayden Tigers.

The loss dropped the Mustangs to 2-7 for the season and left them without a win in Western Slope League play. It is anticipated that the Mustangs will be making the move to eight-man football next year and will be facing a new set of opponents.

In Friday’s night finale, West Grand fell behind 21-0 in the first half. Hayden’s attack was a dose of running backs Jake Walker, Treyben Letlow, Brian Hoza and quarterback Graig Medvesk. Occasionally, Medvesk would drop back and throw a pass to wideout Rene Valdez.

As the game progressed, the Mustang coaching staff made adjustments and were able to minimize the damage done by Walker, Letlow and Hoza, but the option runs of Medvesk continued to cause troubles for the Mustang defense and gave the Tigers key first downs.

The best part of the game for West Grand came early in the third quarter. Ironically, it was long pass from Medvesk to Valdez that set up the sequence. Valdez broke free over the middle and was racing for a gain of more than 30 yards when Travis Gore tracked him down from behind. The sophomore defensive back for the Mustangs smacked the ball out of Valdez’s grip and the ball was recovered by the Mustangs on the West Grand 32-yard line.

West Grand then put together a long touchdown drive that featured the running of Gore and Travis Smith, a couple of option runs by Tim Ritschard and passes to Luke Miller and Stetson Sabados. It was a pass from Ritschard to Sabados that completed the drive and gave West Grand life. Ritschard tacked on the PAT and the score was 21-7 in favor of the Tigers.

A thrilling comeback wasn’t in the cards, however, as Hayden tacked on two more touchdowns to run the final score to 35-7.

Coach Chris Brown said he was proud of the way his young squad competed throughout the year against older, bigger and more experienced teams. The Mustangs will graduate four seniors, Ben Edmondson, Garrett Cannon, Justin Stanfill and Stetson Sabados. Coach Brown said he appreciated the hard work of the four seniors and praised their role in leading the team this season.

Brown was also impressed with the play of the underclassman. The Mustangs will be led by a junior class that is becoming very strong. In addition, due to injuries and illness, several sophomore and freshman players gained valuable varsity experience. Coach Brown said he is counting on that experience as the Mustangs welcome the incoming freshman and move into an exciting new venture next season.

Baring any last minute developments, West Grand will be automatically moved to 8-man football next season and assigned to a league. That league formation hasn’t been finalized. The coaching staff for West Grand hosted a public forum on Oct. 20 in which public input was gathered, questions were heard and concerns addressed. At this point, West Grand would have to petition the Colorado High School Activities Association to remain in Class 1A 11-man football.