Bluejays fly high in homecoming victory
Mancos impressive in blowing out Nucla 76-0
The atmosphere was unbeatable, spectators filled the stands, home-cooked burgers were aplenty and touchdowns came in bunches. Touchdowns for the home team that is.
Playing their 2013 homecoming game against the Nucla Mustangs on Friday, Sept. 20, the Mancos Bluejays football team started fast and stayed strong, registering a memorable 76-0 victory.
Clad in their home blue jerseys and visibly fired up, the Bluejays opened the game on defense and following a huge hit by sophomore Everett Strazza-Whalen and two straight tackles of Nucla ballcarriers behind the line of scrimmage, the Mustangs were forced to punt.
Leaving no time for pleasantries, the Bluejays offense immediately went to work, and after a holding penalty negated an impressive run on their first play, sophomore quarterback Alex Morgan dropped back and delivered a strike to sophomore Adrian Hernandez, who sprinted down the left sideline for the score.
A successful 2-point conversion on a run by Strazza-Whalen, put the score at 8-0 in favor of the Bluejays with nine minutes left in the first quarter.
After a sack by Bluejays' freshman Axel Bonde, the home team's offense went back to work, scoring quickly on a 45-yard option-run down the right side by Morgan.
Following another successful 2-point conversion on a pass from Morgan to junior Brandon Hood-Farley, the score stood at 16-0 with 7:36 to go in the first quarter.
Looking to add to their lead, the Bluejays scored again with 3:24 to go in the first quarter when Strazza-Whalen took a handoff from Morgan and sprinted 10-yards off left tackle to stretch the Bluejays' lead to 22-0.
Less than two minutes later, following yet another Mustangs' three-and-out, the Bluejays scored their fourth touchdown of the first quarter on a 46-yard pass from Morgan to senior Steven Rohweder.
A subsequent 2-point conversion on a run by Rohweder lengthened the Bluejays lead to 30-0 with 1:52 to go in the first quarter.
"Our ability to play as a team, cooperate and not yell at each other helped us tonight," said Rohweder. "We played like an actual team and a family."
Continuing to apply pressure to close out the first quarter, the Bluejays scored again on a safety after senior Bryan Jaime tackled a Mustangs' ball carrier in the end zone.
"We can play," said Jaime, describing his team's fast start. "We can compete with everyone. Our line did magnificent tonight."
Two plays after Jaime's big safety, Morgan scored his first rushing touchdown of the game on a 20-yard scamper, and after a successful 2-point conversion, the Bluejays led 40-0 as the first quarter came to a close.
The Bluejays' scoring onslaught continued into the second quarter as senior Chace Sanders scored on a 45-yard punt return and Morgan scored on a 23-yard touchdown scramble. Following a successful 2-point conversions after both touchdowns, the Bluejays led 56-0 going into the half.
"There is nothing like (homecoming)," said Bluejays' senior Ty Koppenhafer, describing one factor that led to his team's brilliant first-half performance. "Before the game, I was fairly emotional. This is (the seniors') last homecoming, and we came out here and owned it."
Beginning the third quarter much in the same way that they started the game, the Bluejays scored again, this time on a 59-yard play-action pass from Morgan to Hood-Farley, which, after another 2-point conversion, put the Bluejays ahead 64-0.
Roheweder would then score his second touchdown of the game on a 32-yard run off a reverse to put the Bluejays ahead 70-0.
One last touchdown on a 44-yard run by Strazza-Whalen closed out the Bluejays' scoring, giving the team a 76-0 victory.
Speaking of how special the homecoming experience was, Bluejays senior Magellen Leyva, a transfer student from Texas said, "I love it. It has been a great experience for me to move out here and show people what Texas ball is all about."
Special as "Texas ball" might be, it would have been difficult to top the quality shown by the Bluejays in their homecoming victory.