Kremmling " Mustangs start strong in 27-6 victory over Buena Vista
Sky-Hi Daily News
The West Grand High School football team won its third game of the year when it traveled to Buena Vista on Saturday and earned a 27-6 victory over a beefed up junior varsity squad.
Coach Chris Brown of West Grand said the team from Buena Vista included five to six one-way starters from the varsity and several players who see varsity action on a regular basis.
The Mustangs from West Grand dominated play in the first half and built a 27-0 halftime lead. The rushing attack for the Mustangs was highly effective, Coach Brown said, with three touchdowns scored on the ground.
Justin Strang rushed for the first two touchdowns of the game as West Grand built a 20-0 lead in the first quarter. Strang has stepped in as tailback for Jake Motz, who may have re-injured his surgically repaired knee last week in a victory over Nederland. Motz, a senior, awaits the result of an MRI today to determine if he can return to action this season.
Sophomore fullback Connor Widener scored the final touchdown of the game for the Mustangs.
Between the two touchdowns by Strang and the score by Widener, defensive back Drew Klotz picked off a Buena Vista pass and returned it for 25 yards and a touchdown. Sky Handyside tacked on three PATs to complete the scoring for the Mustangs.
In addition to those scores, the Mustangs twice drove the ball to inside the 10-yard line and came away empty. On one series, Buena Vista’s defense kept the Mustangs from scoring on a fourth-down play. On the second series, West Grand attempted a field goal, but a bad snap prevented the team from converting.
On defense, the Mustangs completely dominated the play in the first half. Coach Brown said defensive linemen Cody Burr and Will Elliott played very well and kept the middle clogged up against the rushing attack. They are also putting heat on the quarterback when he drops back to pass.
Linebackers Strang and Widener also played well, Brown said, keeping the Demons from ever getting on track in the first half.
In the second half, the Mustangs started to run out of gas, according to Brown. In addition to Motz, West Grand was also missing linemen Tyrel Cannon and Jeff Vague. The lack of depth started to take its toll as the game played out in the second half. The Mustangs were unable to score after halftime and they also allowed one touchdown drive to the Demons.
As the game wore on, both coaching staffs started to substitute liberally and every player that made the trip for the Mustangs was able to get at least a couple of plays in a varsity contest.
“We probably outgained Buena Vista by quite a bit,” Brown said, “and we cleared up some of the penalty problems we have been having. However, we were dead on our feet in the second half so conditioning will be a focus this week.”
In the battle of turnovers, the Mustangs recovered two fumbles while Klotz and Matt Johnson both had interceptions. It was the second straight game in which Johnson has grabbed an interception.
Tim Ritschard of West Grand threw one interception and there were three fumbled snaps from center. All of the fumbles were recovered by the Mustangs. In addition to conditioning, Brown said the team will continue to work on making the passing attack more effective.
West Grand is now 3-0 for the season and will travel to Leadville next Saturday afternoon to play its final non-league game of the season.
In looking at teams around the league, Coach Brown said, Hayden, Meeker and Hotchkiss continue to look very tough in non-league games.
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