Dennis scores 4 TDs in GJ’s rout of Standley Lake
Grand Junction was poised for its first game as the top-ranked high school football team in Class 5A.
Not even the rain was going to dampen the Tigers’ party.
Grand Junction (3-0) scored touchdowns on six possessions in the first half to rout Standley Lake, a Class 4A team, 50-0 on Friday night at Stocker Stadium.
“It’s good for us; it’s good for our program,” Grand Junction senior Jerreon Dennis said. “We work hard each and every week. We want to get better and we want to stay up top and never come down.”
Dennis had eight carries for 126 yards and four touchdowns — all in the first half — and had an interception on defense.
“We just did everything right,” Dennis said. “Our line was making holes everywhere. Our defense had that tenacity. We just played great.”
Dennis scored the majority of the touchdowns, but it was Sean Rubalcaba and the passing game that led to the touchdowns.
Rubalcaba completed 9 of 15 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns — all in the first half. Chandon Rose caught four passes for 65 yards.
“It’s a hard game because we overmatched them physically,” Grand Junction coach Robbie Owens said. “The kids did a good job. We tried to work on the passing game a little bit in the first half. It was probably to their benefit we didn’t run the ball.
“We haven’t had to throw, but obviously, that was something we wanted to work on and have a ways to go.”
Dennis scored on a 10-yard run on the Tigers’ third play from scrimmage with 9:25 left in the first quarter. The touchdown was set up by Rubalcaba’s 24-yard pass to Brett LaBonte.
Dennis intercepted Standley Lake quarterback Matt Fujinami on the Gators’ next possession, setting up his 40-yard touchdown run. The point-after attempt failed, but the Tigers led 13-0.
Standley Lake briefly slowed the Tigers’ offense with an interception along the sideline, but the Gators couldn’t take advantage of it.
The next time Grand Junction touched the ball, Dennis scored on a 28-yard run for a 20-0 lead with 2:12 left. It was set up by Rubalcaba’s 36-yard pass to Chandon Rose.
Standley Lake turned the ball over on the kick return, but Grand Junction gave it back on a fumble.
Grand Junction went up 27-0 with 10:13 left in the second quarter on a Rubalcaba 4-yard pass to Justin Whiting.
The Tigers were driving again, but faced a fourth-and-8 at Standley Lake’s 35. Instead of attempting a 52-yard field goal, the Tigers went for it. Rubalcaba hit Rose for a 35-yard score and a 34-0 lead.
Standley Lake turned the ball over a third time and the Tigers capitalized with an 8-yard run by Dennis for a 40-0 halftime lead.
Grand Junction opened the second half with a three-play touchdown drive, with LaBonte playing quarterback. With the game well in hand, Rubalcaba sat out the entire second half.
Aaron Minnick scored on an 11-yard run.
Danny Wehner added a 36-yard field goal later in the third quarter.
The Tigers’ defense complemented the offense, pitching a shutout for the second consecutive week, but this time limiting the Gators (1-2) to 17 yards of total offense.
“The defense played well,” Owens said. “We didn’t have a lot of penalties, but we had a couple, just not the 100-yard variety.”