by Melissa Ray
LA VETA — In what started out to be a massacre by the Sanford Indians, the La Veta Redskins fought back to retain possession of their ground on Friday night.
As the final seconds of the Homecoming game began ticking away, quarterback Dustin Faucett of the Indians threw up what looked to be the winning pass of the game. A Redskin picked off the pass, and they took over. With 32 seconds left in the game, Redskin quarterback Blake Warren caught the snap and took a knee. The determined Redskin team claimed their battlefield on Homecoming night.
The match-up between the Redskins and longtime rivals and defending league champs the Sanford Indians was mostly hand-to-hand combat. It was most definitely not a passing game.
In the first half alone, Sanford fumbled the ball four times and La Veta three. The Indians’ quarterback took advantage of La Veta’s first fumble and turned it into a touchdown. The extra point was also a straight shot for the Indians.
Despite Dylan Sporcich gaining quite a bit of yardage, the Redskins simply couldn’t move the ball into the end zone. On what looked like another blaze into the end zone, Sanford’s #5 dropped the ball like a hot potato at the Redskins’ 26-yard line. Although there were many Redskins in the territory, the Indians managed another touchdown in the next play. Kyon Kreutzer blocked the kick and the extra point was no good.
The La Veta team also took advantage of one of Sanford’s fumbles to gain a touchdown in Indian territory. The Redskins were unable to fire in the extra point, and the half ended 13-6.
La Veta came in strong in the second half. The Redskins were ready to prove they were not giving up this battlefield on Homecoming night. However, with a Redskin fumble and a foiled Indian drive, spectators were beginning to wonder if there would be any scoring in the second half.
The rest of the game was marred by a number of personal fouls, the majority of which came from Sanford. La Veta was able to brag about as many as five sacks. Zac Brunelli and Tyler Duzenack were in on three of those sacks, Kreutzer on two, assisted by Eric Griego, W.D. Arnold and Javier Romero who were also in on at least one sack each. Brunelli and Arnold had the most tackles with (by my count) ten each. Kreutzer was next with eight and Duzenack and Griego were tied at seven.
After dueling penalties that offset one another, the Redskins pulled out every weapon. They were not gonna’ give up any more ground. This was Redskin territory. With 9:44 left in the game, Arnold made a touchdown. The extra point was good. The Redskins had the lead 14-13.
The Indians tried hard to fight back, but Sporcich snuck in and stole the prize. Despite multiple mistakes by the Redskins, the Indians were unable to capitalize. Sanford’s quarterback threw two incomplete passes and an interception.
This nailbiting game ended 14-13 in favor of the Redskins. I asked Coach Ortivez how he felt about the game. He said about the first half, “They (Sanford) scored off our mistakes.” When the Redskins came back for the second half, “we still made mistakes. We put together a good drive. We had three fumbles and two interceptions and we still won a football game. If we don’t have those two interceptions and three fumbles, we’re gonna’ score more points and it’s not gonna be as nail biting as it was tonight.”
Coach Ortivez says next week is going to be the big test when they head over to play Sargent in Farmer territory. “We’re ready for next week already. We’ve got back-to-back tests with the best of the league.”