Injuries haunting Tigers in football

By DENNIS PLEUSS Special to The Daily Sentinel

ARVADA — Being a quarterback for Grand Junction appears to be a hazardous job.
With sophomore starter Sean Rubalcaba breaking his left leg last week in a scrimmage, Tigers’ coach Robbie Owens turned to junior Andy Willett to start in Grand Junction’s season opener Saturday afternoon at the North Area Athletic Complex. Arvada West took advantage of the Tigers being shorthanded, taking a 31-3 victory.

“We have to persevere a little bit through this, but our kids are fighting,” Owens said after the non conference loss. “We’re light years ahead of where we were last year.”

It wasn’t all bad news early for Grand Junction. Willett drove the Tigers into Arvada West territory on the opening drive, but the drive stalled. Grand Junction failed on a fourth-and-six play from A-West’s 36-yard line. 

Willett was hit hard in the first quarter and was taken out of the game. He stayed on the sideline with an ice pack on his neck and head. His brother, Charlie Willett, took over at quarterback.

A-West’s returning all-conference quarterback, Gavin Glanz, didn’t look rusty in his first game of 2009. Glanz was 5 for 5 passing for 126 yards and touchdowns of 7 and 36 yards in the first quarter. The touchdown grabs by senior Andrew Higgins and junior Issac Fairbairn put the Wildcats up 14-0.

“Grand Junction was taking away the run early,” said Glanz, who finished 20 for 28 for 258 yards and three touchdowns. “We went to the air.”

Fruita Monument 22, Montbello 15: Fruita Monument was the final Grand Valley team to open its season, and was the only team to begin with a win.

The Wildcats took a 7-0 halftime lead at Montbello and held off a second-half comeback by the Warriors.

Fruita came away with the win despite committing five turnovers. 

“We got a win in a game where we had five turnovers, which doesn’t happen a lot,” Fruita coach Bill Moore said. “The kids played a great game defensively, and totally controlled the game.”

Fruita got a big afternoon from Keenan Coit, who scored the Wildcats’ first two touchdowns.

Coit opened the scoring on a 30-yard pass from Zach Thorpe in the second quarter, then scored Fruita’s only touchdown of the third quarter on an 8-yard pass from Thorpe.


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