Eagle Valley football holds off Frederick, 14-8
Welcome to the dark side
It’s an ancient tradition dating back to the early days of coach John Ramunno at Eagle Valley.
After winning on Senior Day — as the Devils did against Frederick, 14-8, on Saturday — Eagle Valley plays, “How many seniors can you stuff onto a John Deere golf cart?”
The answer, apparently, is 10 of 11 seniors with the John Deere no worse for the wear.
“It just speaks a lot about how tight this group is,” Eagle Valley coach Gabe Brown said. “They rally around each other and play for each other.”
Center of attention
Under the category of playing for each other, Devils fans saw that all Saturday. Late in the first quarter, Eagle Valley senior center Abraham Garcia went down with what appeared to be a right-leg injury on an ordinary 2-yard run by Daniel Gallegos.
Offensive line injuries can disrupt a team’s offense. An injury to the center in a shotgun offense like Eagle Valley’s can be catastrophic. But senior David Solis — the only senior not to pile onto the John Deere after the game — moved over from guard to center and kept the show running.
“Sophomore year, I played center, so I was OK going back to it,” Solis said. “It’s really unfortunate he went down, but you gotta do what you have to to to win.”
Lisandro Aguilar ran hard for 8 yards and Gallegos followed with 3 yards plus a face-mask penalty for a big gain. Sebastian Witt ran it the next two times and quarterback Will Geiman capped the march with a 10-yard pass to Antony Vasquez for a 6-0 lead. (Not only is Garcia the center, but he’s also the kicker and Eagle Valley’s 2-point try was no good.)
Eagle Valley added to its lead with a drive to start the second half. Witt piled up 29 yards of rushing on just two carries. Geiman found Erich Petersen for 15 yards to keep things humming.
Gallegos picked up 6 more yards on the ground before Geiman to Vasquez made it 12-0 with 9:53 left in the third quarter. Witt ran in the conversion for what seemed to be a neat and tidy 14-0 lead.
The dark side
Saturday’s theme was “Welcome to the dark side” on Eagle Valley football’s Facebook page. The team wore its black uniforms and fans were encouraged to wear the color as well.
As for “dark side” defense, well?
“The dark-side defense is physical, fast and arrives with bad intentions,” Aguilar said.
That about described Eagle Valley’s defense on Saturday. The Devils picked up six turnovers on Saturday — two interceptions (Aguilar and Petersen) along with four fumble recoveries.
Frederick’s running game kept the visiting Warriors in the game, but the Devils and Branden Vigil were ball hawks. Frederick put the ball on the ground too many times, and the Devils pounced. Vigil recovered two fumbles and, when the defense wasn’t producing turnovers, it was making plays.
Petersen shut down Frederick’s last gasp with a pass deflection on fourth-and-8 from the Eagle Valley 33.
Eagle Valley (1-2) finishes its regular season at Palisade on Thursday. That, of course, is a sentence that could only be written in COVID days. Despite the weirdness of this season, the Devils feel they can play with the Bulldogs, the traditional power of the 3A Western Slope, on Thursday at 6 p.m. at Stocker Stadium.
Palisade lost to Conifer, 28-14, on Saturday. Last week, Conifer edged Eagle Valley, 28-27.