Chaparral takes control easy, rolls past Grand Junction in 5A playoffs

Things went against the Grand Junction High School football team from the start Saturday in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.

The Tigers (3-7) lost the coin toss to Chaparral, which got them the football, but forced them to play into a nasty wind at Stadium in Parker.

The Wolverines controlled the field possession in the first half and took a 35-0 lead on their way to a 42-0 win.

“We came out flat and I take blame for that,” Grand Junction coach Robbie Owens said. “They are ranked where they are for a reason, so they had a lot of confidence.”

Chaparral’s first score came after Grand Junction quarterback Sean Rubalcaba was intercepted. The Wolverines scored five plays later when Andrew Loudenback connected with JD Henry on a 26-yard pass.

The Tigers were forced to punt at their own 10-yard line, and Jayke Brock’s punt traveled only 23 yards. Chaparral scored on the ensuing play when Loudenback connected with Jordan Serena on a 33-yard touchdown.

Special teams cost Grand Junction on its next series, with a bad snap on a punt forcing Brock to jump on the ball at the Tigers’ 7-yard line. Again, the Wolverines didn’t take long to capitalize, with Spencer Duran scoring on a 9-yard run on the first play for a 21-0 lead.

“They jumped on us so fast it was hard to get anything going,” Owens said. “They were a much bigger team than us up front, and they manhandled us at times.”

Chaparral fullback Jordan West scored on a 6-yard reception and 1-yard run before the end of the first haf.

Chaparral’s defense kept Grand Junction from getting any momentum. Brock was bottled up for 19 yards on 12 carries in the game, and Rubalcaba completed 9 of 12 passes for 83 yards.

“We were more successful this year, so I’m proud of the season for that,” Owens said. “We’ve come a long way, but we still have a while to go.”


Hotchkiss advanced to the quarterfinals for the second straight year by defeating Dolores 49-0. The Bulldogs scored on the first offensive play of the game when Tyler Hanson ran in from 61 yards out.

Dolores kept the fifth-seeded Bulldogs off the scoreboard for the rest of the quarter.

“They came out and their defense was playing aggressive,” Hotchkiss coach Zac Lemon said. “They made adjustments after we scored quick.”

The Bulldogs’ ground attack was able to break the Bears in the second quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run by Hanson. Jaime Rodriguez added a 2-yard run and the Bulldogs closed out the first half with a 9-yard touchdown catch by Steven Floyd.

The second half was highlighted by Pat Sullivan’s 50-yard interception return.

“Our defense played well and won the game for us,” Lemon said.

Hanson led the rushing attack for Hotchkiss (10-0) with 160 yards on 11 carries.

The Bulldogs play at Limon next week.

“We have to be ready for Limon,” Lemon said. “These are now the elite eight teams in 1A, and we have to prove ourselves.”

Ninth-seeded Meeker (7-2) won at Ignacio 28-17 and hosts top-seeded Yuma (10-0) on Saturday in the second round.

Paonia, seeded 14th, lost to Rye 56-27 in its first-round playoff game. The Eagles’ season ended 4-6.


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