GYPSUM - No one in Eagle Valley black or Arvada red wanted to see it happen this way.
Midway through the first quarter, Arvada quarterback Jonathon Martinez called his own number on a draw. He was met by several Devils defenders in a seemingly-innocuous pileup. The Arvada senior lay motionless on the ground and was taken off in a stretcher in front of a very quiet crowd at Hot Stuff Stadium.
While the prayers of the crowd, regardless of partisanship, went to Arvada's Martinez, the game continued with both the Bulldogs and Devils gamely soldiering on. (According to Eagle Valley athletic director Tammy Payne, Martinez was able to move his extremities and was going to the Vail Valley Medical Center as a precaution, something for which all involved was grateful.)
The Devils held a 7-6 lead at the time, and the game, unfortunately, turned on that moment. Arvada went to its back-up quarterbacks. They and their teammates understandably struggled and Eagle Valley took advantage on its way to a 68-14 win Friday night.
Eagle Valley moved to 3-1, while Arvada left the game with the same mark.
Things started auspiciously for Eagle Valley as the Devils' Sam Boyd picked Martinez's first pass, giving his team the ball on the Bulldogs' 15-yard line.
Eagle Valley needed just three plays, capped by an easy pitch to Cole Nielsen for a 2-yard run and a 7-0 lead.
The Bulldogs responded with their aerial attack as Martinez was 4-for-4 in a five- play drive. Martinez hit Isiah Maldonado on a 9-yard strike.
After Martinez went down, the Devils blocked the punt, setting up a short field for the Eagle Valley offense. With the ball on the Bulldogs' 35, Rick Ramunno did most of the work, and plunged into the end zone from 3 yards out.
Tyler LaFramboise intercepted a Bulldogs pass on Arvada's next possession. Nielsen ran it in from 5 yards for a 21-6 lead.
The Devils were back in the end zone two minutes later, courtesy of a hard 16-yard run from Ayren Hart.
In the second quarter, the onslaught continued. Eagle Valley put together a nice drive as quarterback Jordon Hudspeth completed a 24-yard pass to Hart. Jay Dostal had a nice 11-yard run and Ramunno did the honors on a 2-yarder.
It was all Nielsen on the next scoring drive. The senior had a 40-yard rumble and then a 20-yard score.
On Eagle Valley's final possession of the half, Dostal ripped off an 80-yard run. Zeke Sandoval's 8-yaqrd rumble made it, 48-6.
To start the second half, Hart had a big return. Cody Thurston and Sandoval had long runs, Nielson got his third score on a 10-yard scamper.
As the running clock was on, Eagle Valley's Luis Chavez got his first varsity touchdown in the third quarter and Buck Ortiz did the same in the fourth quarter.
Eagle Valley hosts Moffat County next week.
Arvada 6 0 0 8 - 14
Devils 28 20 13 6 - 68
E - Cole Nielsen, 2 run, KG, 10:57
A - Jonathan Martinez to Isiah Maldonado, 9 pass, KNG, 8:54
E - Rick Ramunno, 3 run, KG, 4:52
E - Nielsen, 5 run, K, 3:46
E - Ayren Hart, 16 run, KG, 1:08
E- Ramunno, 2 run, KG, 6:15
E - Nielsen, 20 run, KNG, 4:47
E - Zeke Sandoval 8, run, KG, 1:27
E - Nielsen, 10 run, KG, 8:45
E - Luis Chavez, 54 run, KG, 3:05
E - Buck Ortiz, 19 run, KNG, 8:59
A - Casey Milroy to Travin Harris, pass good, 1:51