Hotchkiss cruises in shutout of Del Norte
HOTCHKISS — Hotchkiss High School dominated both sides of the ball and rolled to a 43-0 nonleague football victory Friday over Del Norte.
The Bulldogs (2-1) got the complete game they hoped for after a gut-wrenching 20-14 loss at Buena Vista the previous week.
“This is what we needed to bounce back for some confidence,” Hotchkiss coach Zac Lemon said. “It’s good to have us playing together, playing emotionally and getting wins.”
The Bulldogs wasted no time against the Tigers, scoring touchdowns on five of their first six possessions en route to a 35-0 halftime lead.
After Jaden Simpson recovered a fumble on Del Norte’s opening drive, Hotchkiss scored on its fourth play when quarterback Devan Rupe connected with Hank Edwards on a 12-yard swing pass for a quick touchdown.
Alex Smith scored on an 8-yard run on the Bulldogs’ next possession, then ran in the conversion for two more points and Hotchkiss led 14-0.
Rupe’s rollout keeper from 5 yards out capped a seven-play, 44-yard scoring drive and made it 20-0. Smith broke free for a 32-yard run on the next drive, and Ryan Hafley kicked the extra point as Hotchkiss led 27-0 after one quarter.
The only score in the second quarter was Smith’s 1-yard run, completing another seven-play drive, this one 50 yards shortly before halftime.
Wade Katzdorn completed the scoring in the game with 2-yard run with six minutes left in the third quarter. Hafley ran in the two-point conversion.
Smith finished with 133 yards rushing on 11 carries, and teammate Duncan Turnbull contributed 90 yards on 13 carries.
Palisade 47, Montezuma-Cortez 0: Dalton Hannigan scored on runs of 51, 43 and 50 yards, the last one coming with 6:44 remaining in the third quarter to put the Bulldogs up 40-0 and start the running clock.
The 6th-ranked Bulldogs (3-0, 2-0 Class 3A Western Slope Conference) went to the air for their first score, a 24-yard pass from Levi Hoaglund to Jack Millard.
The long gain of the night was a 90-yard touchdown run by Easton Woods.
Delta 34, Eagle Valley 14: Eagle Valley (2-1, 1-1 WSC) scored first, but Delta responded with touchdown passes of 31 and 48 yards to Devin Williams to take the lead for good.
The first TD pass came on a halfback option pass by Derek Horn, and the second one came from quarterback Cade Gafford, who added a touchdown throw of three yards to David Brown with 22 second left in the half to put the Panthers (2-1, 1-1 WSC) ahead 27-7.
Rifle 13, Glenwood Springs 7: Brock Clark rushed for a game-high 79 yards and a touchdown for Rifle, and the Bears’ defense held off a last-second drive from Glenwood Springs.
The Demons (0-3, 2-0 WSL) forced a pair of second-half turnovers to keep their chances alive. Third-ranked Rifle (3-0, 2-0), however, got a pair of fourth-quarter stops on defense to win its 23rd consecutive regular-season game.
Bailey Hoffmeister intercepted a Travis Lundin pass on the Bears’ 9 yard line with 4:41 remaining, and after the Demons regained possession after forcing Rifle to punt with 1:01 remaining, Rifle linebacker Austin Shepherd recovered a fumble with 11 seconds left to seal the win.
Montrose 23, Pueblo West 14: Mike Rocha scored on an 11-yard run with about seven minutes left in the game to give Montrose some breathing room after Pueblo West had cut the deficit to 16-14 with a 76-yard run by Zac Drury.