Heritage’s ‘D’ stops Montrose in 4th
MONTROSE — All season, the Montrose High School football team relied on its running game.
After falling behind in Saturday’s Class 4A state quarterfinal game, a 43-24 loss to
Heritage, the Indians were forced to show a different side of their game — the pass.
“We knew we had to open it up a bit in the second half and we had some good protection,” Montrose coach Todd Casebier said.
Montrose quarterback Nate Robertson threw for 143 yards and two touchdowns, both of which helped keep the game within reach.
His first touchdown came in the second quarter. Heritage punted the ball to the Indians’ 35-yard line. After a 3-yard run by Jordan Passehl, Robertson threw a pass to Glayden Berry, which he took 62 yards for a touchdown to bring Montrose within five, 19-14.
Later in the game, Robertson’s arm helped the Indians gain ground. On third-and-nine from the Heritage 26, he connected with Johnathan Sierra with 20 seconds left in the third quarter. The touchdown cut Heritage’s lead to 29-25.
The game’s offensive pace eventually was decided by the defensive efforts of both teams in the fourth quarter.
For the Eagles, that meant stopping the Montrose offense on multiple fourth-down conversion attempts and giving the ball back to the offense, which scored 14 unanswered points.
“We said if we could just get a couple of stops on D, they haven’t really stopped us yet,” Heritage coach Mike Griebel said.
“We knew we would score some more in the second half, we just needed to stop them and that’s what we were able to do.”
The Eagles’ ability to stop the Indians on fourth down paid off with good field position.
Down by 12 with eight minutes left, the Indians attempted to convert on fourth-and-nine near midfield. The defense stopped Robertson at the line of scrimmage, turning the ball over on downs.
The resulting drive for Heritage finished with Josh Meyers scoring on a 1-yard run for a 43-24 lead.
The Indians’ only lead came in the first quarter. Trailing 6-0 after a missed point-after by Heritage, the Indians scored on a 24-yard run by Berry and Ricky Zatarain was able to make the point-after kick to give the Indians the 7-6 lead.
Zatarain also hit a 30-yard field goal in the third quarter.
The senior duo of Passehl and Berry combined for 148 yards rushing and 99 yards receiving. Robertson had 116 rushing yards for the Indians.
Casebier called the loss, Montrose’s second in a row in the state quarterfinals, disappointing, but was quick to acknowledge the effort of his team.
“I’m proud of these kids,” Casebier said. “We don’t have quitters here. This is a great group of seniors and we are disappointed to be done coaching them.”