Indians’ dynamic duo
Youngren, Rocha lead Montrose past Vista Ridge
MONTROSE — It was a big-play night for the Montrose Indians in their season opener.
With two long passes, a bunch of long runs and three interceptions on defense, Montrose pounded the sixth-ranked Vista Ridge Wolves 47-22 in nonconference Class 4A football Friday night.
After a fumbled snap on a punt attempt and falling behind 6-0 early, the Indians dominated the rest of the night.
The Wolves had no answer for the Montrose running tandem of Angelo Youngren and Mike Rocha.
Rocha did the bulk of his work between the tackles, moving the pile. But in the third quarter, on a third-and-three play, the stocky fullback broke through the line and showed off his speed, trucking in for a 63-yard touchdown to give the Indians a 38-14 lead.
It was one of many big plays for the Indians’ offense.
About the only thing that slowed down the Indians was a 30-minute lightning delay late in the third quarter.
Montrose threw only three passes in the first half, with the last one coming in the first quarter, and it accounted for the Indians’ first score.
Peter Shearer ran a seam pattern, and quarterback Kameron DeVincentis put a perfect pass right on Shearer’s hands, and he ran it in for a 52-yard TD to give the Indians a 7-6 lead.
On the next series, Youngren turned in an electrifying 54-yard touchdown run. The quick-footed senior broke through the line, made a sharp cut in the secondary and saw nothing but green to the end zone to push the lead to 14-6.
Youngren finished with 188 yards on 14 carries. He also scored on a three-yard run in the first half.
Youngren had a 48-yard run to set up a 31-yard field goal by Lucas Ruiz-Diaz to give the Indians a 31-14 lead as time expired in the first half.
All totaled, the Indians had eight plays go for more than 30 yards.
“Obviously we have some really good backs, but it all starts with the offensive line,” Montrose coach Todd Casebier said. “This was a total team effort.”
Youngren agreed and said the linemen opened big holes all night.
The impressive win avenged a 45-6 opening-season loss to Vista Ridge last year.
With slippery tailback Jaquan Overbey running and catching short passes, the Wolves had a number of chances on offense. Overbey scored on a 14-yard run in the first quarter, but Montrose kept him hemmed in fairly well throughout the game.
With a sophomore quarterback with a legendary first name — Elway Tubbs — the Wolves’ passing game clicked at times.
Tubbs hit Brian Lopez with passes of 22 and 19 yards to set up a one-yard run by the quarterback to cut the lead to 21-14. The two long connections in the middle of the field were a rarity for the Wolves.
Vista Ridge used well-designed screen passes and throws into the flat to torment the Indians, but two interceptions by Youngren ended drives in the first half.
To start the third quarter, Vista Ridge promptly marched the ball down the field with Tubbs completing four passes to move the ball inside the 10. But Kadin McPherson led a pack of Indians to stop Overbey on second down, and Tubbs’ third-down pass fell incomplete to set up a fourth down.
Montrose junior Kolby Martinez read the fourth-down pass play perfectly and stepped in front of a receiver to snag Tubbs’ pass in the end zone to halt the drive.
It was a two-touchdown swing because Rocha scored four plays later. Rocha ended the game with 245 yards on 23 carries.
The Indians threw their fourth pass of the game in the fourth quarter with DeVincentis running a good play-action fake. He rolled to his right and spotted Martinez wide open behind the secondary and lofted a pass for a 30-yard touchdown.
Overbey finally flashed his explosiveness with a 75-yard kickoff return for the Wolves’ final score of the game.