Roosevelt too much for Eagle Valley
Special to the Daily
Eagle Valley football
Devils 0 0 0 7 – 7
Riders 21 7 7 7 – 42
R — Jaryk Szymanski, 8 run (Jessica Meek kick), 9:56.
R — Cameron Hurtado 11 run (Meek kick), 3:08.
R — Hurtado 6 run (Meek kick), 0:24.
R — Szymanski 69 run (Meek kick), 1:47.
R — Carlos Ortega 35 run (Meek kick), 8:43.
R — Ortega 53 run (Meek kick), 9:40.
E — Riley Rowles 4 run (Aldo Palacios kick), 0:20.
JOHNSTOWN – Grousing as he came off the field after a quick-kick punt was blocked, Roosevelt senior offensive lineman Nathon Putallaz rhetorically asked if his team’s plays were being taken from a comic book.
At the time, though, the Rough Riders were comfortably ahead and went on to win their Class 3A playoff opener at Peterson Field, defeating Eagle Valley, 42-7.
Third-seeded Roosevelt, now 10-1 overall, will host No. 6 Rifle on Saturday in the state quarterfinals. The Bears (10-1) advanced after a 61-13 win over Northridge.
“A good football team is gonna lose next weekend,” remarked Roosevelt Coach Noland Eastin, who said his team won a game that “wasn’t pretty.”
Short fields set up Roosevelt
“We fumbled the ball and turned the ball over in the red zone, made wrong calls, had miscommunication on some (defensive) adjustments. We can’t make those kinds of mistakes in the playoffs.”
The Riders did play well early, taking the opening kickoff and marching 80 yards in five plays to lead 7-0 after an 8-yard run by senior Jaryk Szymanski.
The Rough Riders added two more touchdowns in the first quarter and led 21-0 entering the second stanza.
Two long punt returns by junior Orlando Rivera set up short fields for Roosevelt, with sophomore quarterback Cameron Hurtado notching a pair of touchdown runs for the three-score advantage.
But the offense bogged down after a failed fourth-down play and the aforementioned quick-kick disaster before Szymanski broke off a 69-yard touchdown run for a 28-0 lead late in the half.
“We came out strong and dwindled off, then came back alive,” Hurtado said. “I give credit to the offensive line. They’re the ones who set the tempo.”
“(Eagle Valley) adjusted a little bit, but we held together to pull away,” Putallaz said later. “We can definitely improve, but it was a good team performance.”
Junior Carlos Ortega added second-half scoring runs of 35 and 53 yards as the Riders built a 42-0 lead.
With the clock running due to the mercy rule, the Devils avoided the shutout on a 4-yard run by Riley Rowles, who led his team with 66 rushing yards.
Eagle Valley totaled 192 yards to Roosevelt’s 399, which all came on 42 rushing plays.
“We had a hard time getting much going,” Devils Coach John Ramunno said. “We made a lot of mistakes. But we won seven games this year, so we can hang our hat on that I guess.”
Ramunno said Roosevelt was “well coached and has great size and depth. That’s a good football team. They should go far.”
Just before halftime, an injury took a lot of steam out of Eagle Valley. Buck Ortiz turned the corner on a running play and might have been one step from going the distance but was tackled at an angle.
As Ortiz was carted off the field, Roosevelt’s fans gave him a standing ovation.
“We lost a good kid today,” Ramunno said of Ortiz. “It was a broken tibia for sure.”