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Redskins mauled by Grizzlies

by Melissa Ray
LA VETA — The La Veta Redskin football team met in a battle with the Fowler Grizzlies last Friday evening. With the first quarter ending in no score for either side, the battle promised to be a close one. However, by the end of the third quarter, the Sporcich brothers were leaving the field by ambulance and the team had many more wounded warriors on the sideline.
The elder Sporcich brother, senior Dylan Sporcich, was injured in the first quarter of the game when he took a hit to the side of the leg with his foot planted.
In the second quarter of the game, it looked as if senior Zac Brunelli would use his height and long arms to intercept a Fowler pass to the end zone. The ball, however, tipped Brunelli’s hand, was caught by a Fowler player and run in for a short touchdown. The Grizzlies were unable to complete a pass for the extra point. The score was now 6-0 Grizzlies.
The Redskins took over and moved the ball down the field 32 yards in the next three plays but lost ten yards on a holding penalty. Before the end of the half, the Grizzlies scored twice, completing one extra point attempt out of two tries. The half ended 26-0 Grizzlies.
In the third quarter, the Grizzlies received the ball first but were unable to move the ball down the field due to holding penalties. It was as if the first play was being rewound and played over again. The Redskins took over at their own 16-yard line. They were unable to move the ball down the field, so the Grizzlies took over again at the Redskins’ 47-yard line.
The next play was an incomplete pass with a roughing the passer penalty called on La Veta. On the next play, the Grizzlies scored a touchdown for 32-0. Extra point, no good.
In this quarter, quarterback Tanner Sporcich was injured in a helmet-to-helmet contact play. Sporcich was already down when a Fowler player, attempting to cover the same ball, made contact with him.
In what seemed an eternity, Sporcich was outfitted with a collar, backboarded, and loaded into the ambulance. Huerfano County EMTs Dave DeTrey, Eddie Ray, and nurse Kim DeTrey assisted Fowler EMTs in assessing Tanner and preparing him for transport.
For several minutes, it seemed the officials were unsure of what penalty to call. Spectators in the Redskin bleachers called to officials: “do something, call the game,” and “that should be an ejection!” Officials called a fifteen-yard penalty against the Grizzlies and resumed the game with Sporcich still on the sidelines.
What sounded like war calls came from the bleachers, and it appeared the spectators might start a battle of their own. Aside from not ejecting the Fowler player, one might say resuming the game was a wise choice on the part of the officials.
The intense battle in the third quarter claimed many other injured Redskins. Senior Kyon Kreutzer and junior W.D. Arnold both took hard hits. Kreutzer remained on the field, but Arnold took a short break to catch his breath on the sidelines.
Somewhere in the shuffle, senior Jonathon Sanchez left the field with a dislocated shoulder. Junior Tyler Duzenack took a shot to the ribs in the second quarter but returned to the field in the second half. Sophomore Javier Romero was on and off the field so much, it was like a blur. Occasionally the spectators caught a glimpse of a limp but he was always right back on the field.
After young Sporcich was injured, the crowd, the team, and the coaches were riled up for the remainder of the third quarter. The rest of the quarter was riddled with penalty flags against both teams and ended without either team scoring.
The fourth quarter began with a Fowler touchdown. The attempted extra point was good. The score was now 39-0 Grizzlies. It looked as though the Redskins might really move the ball down the field when quarterback Blake Warren kept the ball and made a run for it. Alas, the play was called back on a holding penalty against the Redskins. The game ended with another touchdown for the Grizzlies, making the score 45-0.
Although it was a tough game with questionable officiating, Coach Ron Ortivez, Assistant Coaches Rod Falk and Fred Ferrari and the La Veta Redskin football team kept their cool and left the field with integrity. Their actions on and off the field prevented what could have been a mob fight. I’m proud to call myself a La Veta Redskin. Kudos to you, mighty men.