Kremmlng " Speed kills: Mustangs can’t keep up with Bulldogs |

Kremmlng " Speed kills: Mustangs can’t keep up with Bulldogs

Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News
ALL | Sky-Hi Daily News

The Hotchkiss Bulldogs were able to dominate in nearly every facet of the football game this past Friday night as they defeated the host West Grand High School Mustangs, 41-7 in Western Slope League play.

The Bulldogs feature a powerful running game with seniors Ethan Coe and Jake Peterson. Sophomore quarterback Pat Sullivan has two wideouts to whom he can throw in Cody Richards and JJ Bear.

That combination of four seniors was too much to overcome for West Grand. Coe was particularly destructive as he scored on four touchdown runs that measured a total of 174 yards. A big, strong runner, Coe also displayed plenty of speed. In addition, the senior ran “with a purpose” and had a nose for the end zone.

The Mustangs received the opening kickoff, with Drew Klotz getting a return to the 28-yard line. West Grand quarterback Tim Ritschards was sacked on first down and then the sophomore threw two incomplete passes.

Justin Strang had a nice long kick, but a good block on Mustang defender Koltz allowed the Bulldog returner to race for 33-yards to the West Grand 32 yard line. On the first offensive play for Hotckiss, Spor hooked up with Bear for a 26-yard gain.

Coe ran for two plays to the 1 yard line and then Peterson scored the touchdown. Pat Sullivan tacked on the PAT with a kick that just cleared the crossbar. It wasn’t pretty, but it counted and Hotchkiss had a 7-0 lead.

West Grand was unable to generate much offense on the next couple of possessions. Freshman fullback Travis Smith ground out a few yards on runs up the middle, and Ritschards had a couple of runs for small gains. But there weren’t enough positive plays for the Mustangs to earn a first down.

The team traded punts and Hotchkiss took over on the West Grand 45 yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, Coe raced around left end for a 45-yard score. The senior running back then took a handoff from Spor and tacked on the two-point conversion, and the Bulldogs had a 15-0 lead.

After the ensuing kickoff, the Mustangs moved in the wrong direction as Ritschard was sacked on two consecutive plays for two seven-yard losses. A five-yard run by Strang moved the team in the positive direction, but West Grand was forced to punt from its own end zone. Strang dropped the low snap, but he was able to pick up the ball and miraculously elude the rush to boot a punt that bounced out of bounds 50 yards downfield.

Unfortunately for the Mustangs, the punt didn’t provide the momentum shift needed to stall the Bulldogs. Peterson ran for 15 yards and Coe had a five-yard run, which was a warmup for another 45-yard touchdown romp on the next play.

The PAT kick was unsuccessful, but Hotchkiss enjoyed a 21-point lead, with the game still in the first quarter of play.

On the next drive for West Grand, the Mustangs enjoyed a bit of success and earned their first first down of the game as Ritschard hit Klotz for a 13-yard gain. The next three runs, however, failed to earn another first down, and the Mustangs were forced to punt again.

The Bulldogs were on the move again, with Coe doing most of the damage. He had one run of 48 yards in the drive, which set up his third touchdown of the evening, a 14-yard run. Sullivan tacked on the PAT and the scored increased to 28-0 in favor of Hotchkiss.

Primarily behind the running of Strang, West Grand earned two first downs on its next drive. The drive stalled after a pair of incompletions and the Mustangs punted to Hotckiss. The Bulldogs ran out the clock as junior running backs Tyler Hanson and Ryan LeValley ran for a total of 24 yards on five plays.

In the second half, the Bulldogs picked up where they left off and on the third play from scrimmage, Coe picked his way downfield for a 70-yard touchdown run. The PAT kick by Sullivan increased the advantage for the Bulldogs to 35-0.

The final score of the evening for Hotckiss was on a pass from Spor to Richards on a 32-yard play. Richards displayed impressive speed as he split two West Grand defenders and caught a nice spiral from Spor.

The PAT was unsuccessful and the Bulldogs had a 41-0 lead. Mustangs fans were given a chance to cheer the next drive as West Grand put together a scoring drive of 80 yards on three plays.

Ritschard opened the drive with a 12-yard completion to Klotz. Smith ran for one yard on a dive play up the middle and then Strang brought the Mustang fans to their feet when he raced virtually untouched for 67 yards and a touchdown.

The senior was not to be denied as he kicked in the afterburners and outraced three Hotckiss defenders to the end zone.

Sky Handyside tacked on an extra-point that traveled far enough that it may have been good from 35-40 yards away. On the successful PAT, the Mustangs were able to put another point on the board to secure the final score of 41-7.

The two teams then traded possessions as the clock quickly ran to its conclusion.

For the season, the Mustangs are now 4-2 with an 0-2 mark in Western

Slope League play.

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