Eagle Valley loses close one to Tigers, 21-20
GYPSUM — What a difference a kicker makes in the game of football.
Eagle Valley matched nonconference foe Erie touchdown for touchdown, but a few failed 2-point attempts made the difference in the Devils 21-20 loss in Gypsum on Friday night.
“I’d love to have a kicker,” said Devils coach Tom LaFramboise. “We felt like our chances were better going for 2. I have confidence in putting the ball in Garrett’s (Martin) hands.”
Rightfully so, as Devils senior quarterback is playing with poise and leadership in the second-year passing offense.
The loss puts Eagle Valley (0-2, 0-0 Western Slope) still seeking its first win of the season. However, the Devils are playing a tough schedule, and competing.
“Their effort was good,” LaFramboise said. “We’re playing a tough schedule against tough teams, and the effort is there. It’s a huge improvement over Week 1. We just have to keep building and get better.”
The Devils lost to Kent Denver in the first week, 18-8.
Devils rally late
After forcing punts on the first two possessions, the Devils defense cracked on a 65-yard drive, dominated by The Tigers rushing attack, with 4:53 left in the first half, making it 7-0 Erie.
The Devils responded with a late-half drive that resulted in a Garrett Martin scramble for a touchdown with less than 30 seconds remaining in the half. The 2-point conversion failed through the air.
The Tigers scored on their first two possessions of the second half, with both possessions starting in Eagle Valley territory.
The Devils clawed back with another Martin touchdown early in the fourth quarter after Alex Chavez and Bailey Scrivens put an end to a botched punt snap by the Tigers on the 2-yard line. The successful 2-point conversion by the quarterback made the score, 21-14,with more 10 minutes remaining.
A fumble recovery by Noah Hermosillo on the next Tigers possession sparked life in the Devils, who went on to score on a Zach Carvill 6-yard run to bring the Devils within 1 with eight minutes remaining.
The 2-point conversion was unsuccessful, again through the air.
The Devils offense is improving in its second year taking to the air.
“We’ve got a good receiving corps,” Martin said. “It’s fun to pass and a good change. It’s a different kind of offense, and it’s working.”
And a good passing offense is only as good as its offensive line, something Martin appreciates.
“Our offensive line did a great job,” he said. “Shout out to those guys. They gave me good protection and good time.”
The Devils continue their tough nonconference play next week against Denver Lutheran in Gypsum.
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.