Bulldogs give Sirko win in return home
HOTCHKISS — With a familiar leader back on the sideline, little has changed for the Hotchkiss High School football team.
Duncan Turnbull ran for four touchdowns and Devan Rupe led a potent rushing attack Friday night as Mike Sirko started his second stint as head coach of the Bulldogs with a 32-14 victory over Ignacio.
“It wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take it,” Sirko said after Hotchkiss broke open a close game with back-to-back scores in the second half. Hotchkiss was without injured seniors Alex Smith and River Panish, but the Bulldogs displayed a balanced attack behind Turnbull and Rupe.
“I felt like at times we were consistent coming off the ball. That’s something we have to get better at,” Sirko said. “Our sophomore tailback (Wade Katzdorn) did real well.
“And Devan Rupe did some nice things for us tonight. That’s what we expect from our senior quarterback.”
Hotchkiss wasted no time taking the lead, scoring a touchdown on its first possession. The key strike in a five-play opening drive was a 48-yard pass from Rupe to Mitch McCurdy. Then, Turnbull scored on a 1-yard run for a 6-0 lead.
Turnbull did the honors again with a 6-yard touchdown run to put the Bulldogs ahead 12-0 less than two minutes into the second quarter.
Ignacio got back into the game behind strong-armed quarterback Adison Jones. The Bobcats ran four straight pass plays, and Jones connected with favorite target Wyatt Hayes for a 23-yard touchdown, then threw to Nick Herrera for the two-point conversion. Ignacio went into halftime trailing 12-8.
The Bulldogs’ power running game took its toll on the Bobcats in a penalty-filled second half. Turnbull’s third score was a 13-yard run that made it 18-8, and Hotchkiss took control with Turnbull’s fourth touchdown, this one from 3 yards out.
Katzdorn’s two-point conversion put Hotchkiss ahead 26-8.
Jones responded with another passing touchdown, finding Mike Perez for a 16-yard score that pulled the Bobcats within 26-14 early in the fourth quarter.
Katzdorn completed his strong debut with a 1-yard touchdown to round out the scoring with a little more than seven minutes left.
“The key was we had some young kids come in and play well when we had some seniors and some experienced kids out,” Sirko said.
After starting his head coaching career in 1979 at Hotchkiss, Sirko was delighted with the outcome of his first game back.
“It feels great, it really does,” he said. “I’ll take it and run all the way with it.”
Rifle 62, Moffat County 7: The Bears scored 41 points in the first quarter to start the running clock.
Ty Leyba ran six time for 211 yards and three touchdowns in the first half, and the Bears finished the game with 374 yards rushing on 23 carries. Leyba had TD runs of 57 and 59 yards, and he had a 60-yard run that set up a touchdown run by Brock Clark, who had two touchdowns, as did Brooks Pressler.
The Bears’ defense limited Moffat County to 54 yards of total offense and forced four turnovers. The Cowboys rushed 18 times for 31 yards.
Palisade’s Greta Van Calcar finished third in the Class 4A Invite girls race, and the Bulldogs’ Jake Erickson was 10th in the boys race at Thursday’s Cheyenne Mountain Stampede.
Palisade finished 12th in the boys and girls 4A races, which featured the top 15 teams in Class 4A and were separate from the regular races, which featured all four classes.
Van Calcar’s time was 20 minutes, 42.8 seconds at the Norris Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs, the site of the CHSAA state meets. Erickson clocked in at 17:42.3.
Montrose’s Ian Meek was third in the 4A boys race (17:25.4).
Montrose opened its season with a 3-1 victory over Grand Junction.