by Dreama Ortivez
LA VETA- The La Veta Redskins defeated the Sanford Indians 46 to 26, but the score was not truly indicative of how the game was played. Before the action took place, the Redskin players and cheerleaders gave special recognition to their parents.
When action began, the hits were hard and plentiful. Sanford won the toss and elected to receive the kick-off. The Redskin defense quickly forced Sanford to punt. On their opening drive the Redskins marched 88 yards in 8 plays to strike first. A 47-yard pass from Jon Brunelli to Clancey Kreutzer opened up the scoring for the Redskins. Brunelli then hit Kreutzer on a short pass for the two-point conversion.
On Sanford′s next possession the Indians discovered that it was going to be a long night when the Redskin defense forced another turnover on downs. The Redskins ran two plays to end the first quarter. To begin the second quarter, the Redskins finished the 11-play drive with Brunelli completing a 20-yard touchdown pass to Adam Ortivez. The two-point conversion was stopped just short.
A fumble by the Indians on their next possession set the Redskins up for their next drive. Two plays including a 63-yard screen pass to Kreutzer put the Redskins ahead 20 to 0. Sanford, desperate to score before half time, found the end zone with 26 seconds left in the first half when Indian quarterback Tommy Caldon found Josh Jarvis open. The Redskin lead was 20-6 at this point.
To begin the third quarter, the Redskins received the ball and marched 75 yards in 15 plays as Brunelli broke three tackles for a 22-yard touchdown scamper. Brandon Morgan ran the two-point conversion untouched. This drive consumed most of the third quarter as Sanford was only able to run six plays before the quarter ended.
The Redskin defense flexed its muscle and forced Sanford to punt only two plays later. The Redskins’ ground attack, with hard running by Jared Ray and Morgan, seemed too much for the Indians to handle. In 13 consecutive runs, the Redskins pushed their way down the field and into the end zone with Brunelli punching it in from 1-yard out. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful.
La Veta did not back off as senior Matt Hammernik recorded a sack on the Sanford punter as he mishandled the snap. With a short field the Redskins only needed 1 play to find the end zone again. Ray broke loose for a 38-yard touchdown run.
With time winding down, Sanford finally found their way to the end zone as the Redskins began to substitute several younger players. Sanford then kicked an onside and was able to recover. The young Redskin defense did not make matters easy for the Indians, but eventually Sanford found the end zone again. Sanford then tried another unsuccessful onside, giving the young Redskin players an opportunity to gain experience on the offensive side of the ball.
Sanford was able to force a fumble and recover it in Redskin territory. The Indians quickly took advantage of this opportunity and scored again. The coaching staff had seen enough and the starters were sent back in. Sanford again tried an onside kick but the Redskin front liners smothered the ball. Eight plays later the Redskins sealed the victory with Ray breaking loose for a 19-yard touchdown run. The Sanford offense found no success as the Redskin defense forced a turnover on downs. Brunelli then took a knee to kill the remaining 23 seconds left in the game.
The Redskin team showed great poise and determination as they completed their goal. They also had an alternative plan for their head Coach. As many members occupied their coach with high fives and hugs, a few others executed perfectly the drenching of Coach Ortivez with an icy cold Gatorade shower. Coach Falk and Coach Gevlinger were able to escape.
This victory marks the first time since entering this league that the Redskins have been able to claim the League title. Coach Ortivez commented after the game, “I am very proud of this team and the coaches for accomplishing the goal we had set at the beginning of the season. I was particularly proud of the upper classmen′s ability to stay fired up for the entire game. I could go on for days about how proud and excited I am but we have to prepare for the upcoming cross divisional game.”
The Redskins will host Platte Valley at home this Saturday at 1 pm. The winner will advance to the 16-team playoff bracket. On a final note, Coach Ortivez and his staff would like to thank everyone for their support and encouragement throughout the season and they look forward to seeing everyone on Saturday.