Turnovers costly in Fruita Monument’s loss

AURORA — Early on, it appeared the Fruita Monument High School football team was going to get its offense going in full gear in Saturday’s nonconference game with Eaglecrest,

Alas, the Wildcats (1-3) had problems sustaining much of anything, and five turnovers contributed to a 24-12 loss to the Raptors.

Considering the dire weather conditions on the Front Range for much of the week, the trip to Aurora was rather uneventful, and the artificial turf at Legacy Stadium, though damp, was more than playable.

At least Cody Maston found it that way. On the second play from scrimmage, the Wildcats’ senior fullback scampered 82 yards off left tackle to give them the early lead

Eaglecrest quickly answered, however, putting together a 
13-play drive and adding a field goal to forge a 10-6 lead, which held up through the half. A fourth-down conversion with a fake punt kept the drive alive.

“It’s one thing we struggle with is (handling) momentum shifts,” Wildcats coach Sean Mulvey said.

The Raptors’ defense shut down the Wildcats, holding them to two first downs after Maston’s long run, and that included a 54-yard nonscoring burst from Isaac Rodriguez on his first carry.

The Raptors made one adjustment at halftime, targeting big tight end Anthony Karmayzn. The 6-foot-5, 190-pound junior hauled in three passes in the second half, two of them going for touchdowns on catch-and-carries of 29 and 81 yards.

Meanwhile, the Fruita offense couldn’t master the Raptor defense, as quarterback Jacob Lynch was sacked six times and finished with minus-22 yards on the ground.

When he did pass, he found open receivers a rarity. Lynch completed only seven of 23 pass attempts and was picked off three times. The Wildcats also hurt their cause by losing a pair of fumbles.

Fruita wide receiver Cody Basinger said the team needs to keep its focus for the entire 48 minutes.

“We need to stay in there (focused) the whole game,” he said.

There were some bright spots.

“We played better tonight than we played the last two weeks,” Mulvey said, crediting an aggressive defense that held the Raptors to 367 total yards. “Our defense was solid tonight.”

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