With five seconds left on the clock, the Fruita Monument High School football team ran a double-reverse gadget play where wide receiver Peyton Nessler threw a short touchdown pass to quarterback Corben Rowell, lifting them to a 36-35 win over Mesa Ridge.
PHOTO PROVIDED BY CHRIS LANE / BASALT CROSS COUNTRY STANDOUTS KATELYN MALEY & AVA LANE
In addition to his receiving touchdown, Rowell also ran for two scores. Kaison Stegelmeier also scored twice on the ground, leading an offense that totaled 330 yards rushing.
Elsewhere in Class 4A action, Grand Junction earned its first victory of the season with a 56-12 win over Gateway. Junior quarterback Isaiah Biocic threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, totaling 218 yards of offense. Junior linebacker Landon Grossnickle also forced a fumble, recovered a fumble and finished with three sacks.
Montrose secured an undefeated regular season and conference title with a 19-14 win over Ponderosa. Running back Ethan Hartman had 72 yards receiving and 51 yards rushing.
Central fell 56-14 to Loveland, ranked No. 4 in the CHSAANow.com poll.
For Class 3A, Palisade secured a conference title with a 28-14 win over Glenwood Springs. Senior Franklin Barks scored twice on the ground and was one of four Palisade rushers with at least 70 yards. Quarterback Malakhi Espinosa, running back Phallen Salvati and fullback Rhett Ward joined him.
Despite trailing 22-9 with less than five minutes remaining, Summit battled back to defeat Eagle Valley 23-22. The Tigers scored on the ground, recovered an onside kick with roughly three minutes remaining, then Jack Hodge crashed into the end zone, setting up the game-winning extra-point kick from Kyle Kimball.
Battle Mountain secured four interceptions and scored 33 unanswered points to defeat Steamboat Springs 40-7. Elijah Morales and Aaron Galehr had the picks, while Tanner Roberts and Gantt Sanders each scored two rushing touchdowns.
In 2A action, Delta freshman quarterback Ty Reed scored twice through the air and twice on the ground to lead the Panthers to a 35-7 win over Rifle.
Moffat County bounced back from its first loss of the season with a 51-0 trouncing of Coal Ridge. Evan Atkin had five rushing touchdowns and 139 yards on 11 carries.
Kade Schneider threw for three touchdown passes — including an 84-yard bomb to Cooper Crawford — as Basalt defeated Aspen 49-21.
For Class 1A, North Fork handled Gunnison 42-6 to secure second place in the 1A Western Slope Conference. Blaine Peebles had two rushing and one receiving touchdown, while Drayden Taylor, Diezel Balko and Hunter Moreno each scored once on the ground.
Meeker blanked Center 47-0, where Kelton Turner rushed for two touchdowns and 166 yards on 15 carries.
Cedaredge forced five turnovers in a 34-0 win over Roaring Fork. Brady Cooper and Luke Maxey pulled in the picks, while Lane Hunsberger forced the fumble. Maxey, the quarterback on offense, threw for two touchdowns and ran for another. Cooper was on the receiving end of both scores.
Grand Valley defeated Olathe 42-6, led by a three-touchdown day from running back Emilio Garcia. The senior rushed for 140 yards and two scores on seven carries, and connected with Alex Alegria for a 73-yard score on a gadget play.
In 8-man, Vail Christian stretched its winning streak to nine games by defeating West Grand 40-0. Quarterback Taylor Shull connected with receiver Jeffry Hall for four scores.
Rangely took care of Hayden 46-6. Kheilin Myers rushed for three touchdowns, while Zane Varner scored twice on the ground.
It took overtime, but Plateau Valley defeated Front Range Christian 36-34. Quarterback Tallen Long threw for a touchdown, ran for a touchdown and caught a touchdown pass.
Top-ranked Meeker lost for the first time this season at the hands of 3A Centauri, but also won three matches. The Cowboys swept Middle Park, Buena Vista and Bennett. Emma Luce had 74 kills across the four matches.
Vail Christian picked up victories over rival Vail Mountain, as well as Gilpin County and Caprock Academy. The Saints have won eight straight games.
Olathe defeated Norwood and Crested Butte to improve to 13-9. Kiandra Liles turned in six aces during the shortened match against Crested Butte, while Sadie Shea had seven aces and six kills against Norwood.
Caprock Academy snapped a nine-game skid with a 3-1 win over De Beque. Senior Hailey Moore had a match-high 13 kills, while sophomore Paige Moore had eight blocks.
For Class 3A, Delta went 3-1 at the Coal Ridge tournament, where Ellie Ames was selected as the player of the tournament. Ames had eight kills in a sweep of Glenwood Springs, four aces in a 2-1 win over Pagosa Springs, 11 digs in a 2-1 victory against Palisade and the team’s lone block in a 2-0 loss to Valley.
Aspen won its seventh straight with a 3-1 win over North Fork, where the Skiers benefitted from 21 hitting errors and 11 service errors by the Miners.
Moffat County won a 3-2 nail-bitter over Basalt, taking the fifth game 15-9. Lizzie Lawarne had seven blocks, while Ruby Short had 10 kills.
In 4A action, Palisade also traveled to Coal Ridge, where they defeated Glenwood Springs and Pagosa Springs. Ella Yanovich had 39 kills and seven aces across all matches.
Eagle Valley swept Summit and Battle Mountain. The Devils got a team-high 14 digs and four aces from Anna Gill against Battle Mountain, while Evie Geddes-Boyd had 10 kills against Summit.
For the Southwestern League, Fruita Monument traveled to a tournament at Ponderosa, where they defeated the host school as well as Durango. Against Ponderosa, the Wildcats were led by 12 kills from BayLea Sparks and 10 kills from Hayden Murray.
The Wildcats had 61 kills against Durango, with Sparks piling up a team-high 18 and Murray having 15. Sabrina Landman and Brady Thomason had 12 kills apiece.
Grand Junction scored five times in the second half and Blake Sturgeon scored the deciding goal as the No. 10 Tigers advanced in the Class 4A playoffs by defeating No. 23 Steamboat Springs 5-3. They travel to face No. 7 Cheyenne Mountain in the next round.
No. 11 Eagle Valley was upset by No. 22 Northridge in a shootout after the teams were tied 1-1 following overtime.
Battle Mountain with host Northridge after the No. 6 Huskies dispatched No. 27 Glenwood Springs 2-0. Samuel Koontz and Saul Sinaoloa scored for Battle Mountain.
No. 29 Montrose fell 3-1 to No. 4 Denver North and No. 21 Summit lost to No. 12 D’Evelyn 1-0.
In the 3A bracket, No. 8 Vail Mountain defeated No. 25 St. Mary’s 2-1, led by goals from Nick Kirwood and Austin Morris.
No. 11 Roaring Fork dispatched No. 22 Bishop Machebeuf 3-1. Ross Barlow, Emiliano Magana and Jose Mercado all found the net.
No. 6 Coal Ridge saw its season end via upset victory from No. 27 Prospect Ridge Academy. The Broomfield-based school scored the game’s only goal in the first half.
No. 19 Aspen lost 1-0 to No. 14 Denver School of Science and Technology: Green Valley Ranch.
Basalt’s Katelyn Maley took home the girls individual title and led the Longhorns to a sixth-place team finish during the 3A state championship race in Colorado Springs.