GYPSUM — It’s an election year and nothing is as it appears, like Vista Peak coming into Eagle Valley’s Hot Stuff Stadium ranked ahead of the Devils …
They left ranked in some other order as Eagle Valley defeated the Bisons, 41-21.
For the first four minutes, the Bisons and Devils beat on each other like it was a demolition derby and they had targets on their tailpipes.
The Devils opened with a 52-yard drive but came up with nothing when they fumbled it away on the Vista Peak four yard line.
Bison quarterback Noah Butler dodged a safety on third down like Bill Clinton dodging giving a direct answer. The punt from Vista Peak’s own end zone was about as clean as one of Bill’s explanations to Hillary, and Eagle Valley was in business at the Bison 29.
Four plays later, Cristian Aguillar punched it in from three yards out. Xavier Mendoza added the point after and Eagle Valley led 7-0 at 5:18 in the first quarter.
Vista Peak fumbled the kickoff, recovered, then lost three yards. If it hadn’t been for an Eagle Valley facemask penalty, the Bisons would still be buried like Lois Lerner’s emails.
But then, Butler completed a 45 yard bullet as the Devils defender slipped. But no, an illegal formation penalty made it all for naught as Vista Peak was even penalized five yards, and it was fourth and 16 from their own 49.
Butler ran a fake punt to the 30, then found Quincy Sanders in the corner of the end zone for a 30 yard touchdown to tie it 7-7.
Minutes later, Butler was in the less-than loving embrace of a couple Eagle Valley defensive linemen and on his way down faster that George Bush’s approval ratings, but still managed to drill it to Isaiah Young for 25 yards. Butler found Chris Mitchell for 10 more yards. Butler scored from 15 yards out for a 13-7 lead.
On the kickoff, Riley Rowles picked up a squib kick and sprinted 68 yards for a touchdown. Mendoza added the kick and Eagle Valley was back on top 14-13.
Late in the second quarter, Stevens hit Mike Ramunno for 13, kept it for six more and handed it to Rowles to do the rest from 11 yards out. Mendoza’s kick made it a 21-13 halftime lead.
Vista Peak made some adjustments at halftime, spreading the field and driving 65 yards to open the second half. There the Devils defense got as stiff as John Kerry’s standup routine. On fourth and 25, Butler’s pass to the end zone was broken up.
Vista Peak regrouped and put together a 71-yard drive. Butler completed two long passes, scrambled twice and on third and goal from the six floated a strike to the corner of the end zone and into Alexander Hawkins’ hands. He drilled it into traffic where Young held on for the two point conversion, tying it 21-21.
It didn’t last long.
Eagle Valley started at its 47. Aguilar picked up 9 and Chavez was good for a first down at the 29.
Stevens kept it on a blind bootleg left for a first down from the Bisons 14. Add a facemask and make it first and goal from Vista Peak’s two yard line.
Chavez split the Bison defense two plays later for a 27-21 lead. Mendoza’s kick made it 28-21.
Vista Peak returned the kick to their own 48, but a five yard penalty and a four yard loss was punctuated by an interception by Eagle Valley’s Aguilar.
Rowles was good for 25 yards, then 15 more, then 17 more. He pounded it in from the five for a 34-21 lead.
Eagle Valley recovered a fumble and nine plays later Chavez rolled into the end zone from nine yards out and the 41-21 Devils win.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.