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Redskins win big in the league opener

by Dreama Ortivez

FAIRPLAY- The Redskins hit the road bright and early on their journey to Fairplay to take on the Burros of South Park high school.  In this league opener for both teams and the Burros’ homecoming, both teams were amped up and looking for victory.  The Redskins won the coin toss, and unlike their prior three games, the Redskins chose to receive the ball.

     It did not take long to see why the Redskins changed their strategy.  Brandon Morgan, took the opening kickoff 80 yards for the first touchdown of the game and lit up the scoreboard like the changing aspens in the mountains.  On the Redskins’ next possession after a quick three and out by the Burros, senior quarterback Jon Brunelli hit Clancey Kreutzer on a 20-yard pass for the Redskins’ second touchdown, Brunelli then added the two-point conversion on a nifty off tackle run. 

    The Redskin defense continued its assault on the South Park backfield and forced yet another three and out.  After a Burro punt, the Redskins put together a seven-play 46-yard drive capped off with Brunelli hitting Caleb Bird on a 6-yard touchdown pass. With the swarming Redskin defense getting the job done, the Redskins wasted no time as they quickly put together a fast 9-play, 60-yard drive and scored before the first quarter bell rang. 

    The second quarter featured much of the same, a stingy Redskin defense and a mixed dose of run-pass offense.  The Redskins added 18 more points in the second quarter with a 40-yard run by Morgan, a 3-yard run by Brunelli and a Brunelli-to-Kreutzer 9-yard pass.  For the Burros, running back Kyle Baker found one of the very limited opportunities and made a 35-yard dash for the end zone as the second quarter came to an end.  The Burros’ extra point try was unsuccessful as Adam Ortivez dove in for the block. 

    For the second half of play, the teams traded turnovers; then the Redskin defense took control of the game.  The Redskins used running back by committee to finish out the game.  Senior Caleb Bird added a 12-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter and a 3-yard touchdown in the fourth.  The Burros did not see the end zone again until the final play of the game, as a fake punt caught the Redskins off guard.  The final score was 52 to 12, with the Redskins seizing the first league win. 

    The Redskin defense turned in their best performance of the season as they had 4 interceptions: two by Ortivez, one by Brunelli and one by Morgan.  Brunelli also recovered a fumble, but the story of the day was the total team effort in caging the speedy and shifty South Park backfield.

    Coach Ortivez was extremely happy with the defensive effort of the players and the strategy put in place by Coach Falk.  “As a staff we knew we had to jump on the Burros early and apply a lot of pressure because they did have a talented backfield,” stated Coach Ortivez.  Tomorrow the Redskins host the Sangre de Cristo Thunderbirds at 7 pm.  Coach Ortivez is hoping for the same kind of consistency and intensity from his team because the Thunderbirds always bring a competitive team.