West Grand defeats Hayden in homecoming game | SkyHiNews.com

West Grand defeats Hayden in homecoming game

Reid Tulley
West Grand quarterback Nick Ritschard (15) slips through the tackle of Hayden defensive back Isaac Bridges (7) during the first quarter of Friday's, Oct. 4, game in Kremmling. Ritschard had 186 rushing yards and scored two touchdowns on the ground and added two through the air as the Mustangs rolled to a 52-8 win.
Byron Hetzler/bhetzler@skyhidailynews.com | Sky-Hi News

The West Grand Mustangs varsity football team remains tied for the No. 1 spot in the league after defeating the Hayden Tigers 52-8 during Friday’s Oct. 4 homecoming game.

The Mustangs allowed the Tigers one touchdown with a two-point conversion in the first half.

The game was not without the added drama of darkness overtaking the field. Just as the game begin to heat up in the second quarter, the lights went out due to blown fuses.

The lights remained dark for longer than two hours as Mountain Parks Electric and the school’s custodial staff worked to fix the problem so the two teams could finish out the game rather than continue the game on Monday.

While the lights were getting fixed by Mountain Parks, the school named its homecoming royalty for the year in the high school gym, with Sarah Vance and Reno Davidson named homecoming king and queen.

After the lights blazed on the field again, the two teams squared off to finish the second quarter of the game. The Mustangs ended the first half scoring a total of 36 points, securing the outcome of the game before the half was over.

Tied for first in the league

The Mustangs now have a 4-1 overall record and 2-0 league record and are hoping to make this the team’s fourth consecutive year in taking the league title.

There are two league games left in the season for the Mustangs to break the tie with Soroco for the No. 1 spot, starting with the upcoming game at Vail Christian, set for Saturday, Oct. 12.

The Mustangs drew a large crowd to Friday’s game, the team’s second home game this season, despite the chilly weather.

Nick Ritschard, the Mustangs’ senior quarterback, led the team to victory with the help of Leo Pesch, Casey Gore and Reno Davidson, all seniors at the school.

“Nick Ritschard did an excellent job on quarterback,” said Mustangs Coach Chris Brown.

Ritschard racked up two touchdowns and six conversions during the game to put 18 points on the scoreboard for the team, with Pesch and Gore both scoring two touchdowns and completing two conversions to add a total of 28 points to the Mustangs final score. Davidson chipped in with a touchdown to round out the team’s score at 52 points for the game.

Pesch has been battling a slightly injured ankle, though looked close to 100 percent, according to Brown. “It’s nice to see him playing full speed again,” Brown said.

The team’s defense held the Tigers to a single touchdown, with Davidson making three solo tackles and nine assists on tackles and getting one sack, costing the Tigers 5 yards.

In the second half, the Mustangs once again took control of the game, scoring two touchdowns in the third quarter and stopping Hayden from putting any points on the board.

Neither team put points on the board during the fourth quarter of the game, leaving the final score 8-52.

While Brown commented on how well his team performed during Friday’s game, he also said “we have got to keep improving.”

“Our execution and blocking is just starting to come around,” he said. “And we have the quickness and speed.”

The coach said his team will focus on preparing for the “bigger players” for upcoming games against Vail Christian and Soroco.

Reid Tulley can be reached at 970-887-3334

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