Pueblo West rallies, beats Indians
MONTROSE — For the fourth time in as many games, the road team stole a victory.
Pueblo West rallied from two scores down Friday to defeat Montrose 20-19, spoiling the Indians’ homecoming.
“We kind of owed them one from last year when they beat us by one point at the end,” Pueblo West coach Monte Pinkerton said. “Montrose is such a good program, good team. It’s always a tough road trip and a great team. They are a hard-nosed team like we are. I feel pretty fortunate to get out of here with a win.”
The Cyclones (3-0, ranked No. 8 in 4A) did it without their leading rusher, Derek Jackson, who is nursing an ankle injury, Pinkerton said. Jackson rushed for more than 400 yards in the first two games this season.
Rayshawn Fuchs stepped in and rushed for 174 yards and one touchdown.
“That’s huge with Derek banged up a little bit,” Pinkerton said. “We needed to rest him. Rayshawn stepped it up. It’s a testament to our offensive line. We knew it would be a dogfight.”
Montrose (2-2) proved ready for the fight, scoring on its first possession of the game on Angelo Youngren’s 78-yard run up the middle.
Pueblo West came back with a Fuchs one-yard TD run set up by his 72-yard run on fourth-and-three midway through the second quarter to tie the score 6-6.
Both defenses held tight the rest of the half.
The Cyclones tried to catch Montrose off guard with an onside kick to open the second half, but the Indians recovered.
Montrose went to its hurry-up offense and scored on Youngren’s 16-yard run for a 12-6 lead. Youngren’s second point-after attempt fluttered wide right.
“The hurry-up definitely was working,” quarterback Drew Casebier said. “The O-line played great. We just didn’t finish in the end.”
Drew Casebier led the Indians on the scoring drive despite battling a migraine headache.
“It’s not about me, it’s about the team,” he said.
Pueblo West fumbled on its first play on the ensuing drive, and Travis Hauger recovered. Eight plays later, Youngren scored his third TD on a two-yard run. Aaron Fierro came in and connected on the point-after for a 19-6 lead with 5:42 left in the third quarter.
Youngren rushed for 177 yards on 24 carries.
The Cyclones began to wear down the Montrose defense, putting together a nine-play, 69-yard drive, scoring with 39 seconds left in the third. Quarterback Zac Drury’s second completed pass went for 27 yards over the middle to tight end Jed Mendicino for a TD. Brandon Summer made the point-after.
Pueblo West then consistently ran behind 6-foot-2, 305-pound Diego Rojas and scored with 3:23 left in the game.
The Cyclones started the drive on their own 14 and ran eight plays. Drury ran for 63 yards to get them in scoring position. He scored on a 1-yard run. Summer made the crucial point-after attempt for a 20-19 lead.
“We’ve been conditioned well,” Casebier said. “It wasn’t happening for us at the end. We made some mistakes that affected us later.”