Knights roll past GJ

Grand Junction High School’s Austin Taylor tries to leap over Tim Ryan of Fairview as he loses his balance while picking up yardage during the first quarter of Saturday’s game at Stocker Stadium.



Grand Junction took a 14-0 lead early Saturday night, but Fairview put up 30 consecutive points with a dynamic passing display from Johnny Feauto as the Knights beat the Tigers 
58-28 in a nonconference football game at Stocker Stadium.

“We just started making some mental mistakes that were costing us offensively,” Grand Junction coach Robbie Owens said. “We had a penalty, we turned the wrong way, and all of a sudden we have drives where we just couldn’t get first downs.”

Jack Parsons returned the opening kickoff 65 yards, and on the next play he threw a 26-yard halfback pass to Austin Taylor for a touchdown. The Tigers (0-2)
recovered an onside kick and drove to the opposing 10-yard-line before a fumble gave Fairview (1-0) the ball.

The Tigers were able to force a three-and-out, starting their third drive from their own 45.

Jax Nourse capped a five-play, 55-yard drive with a 19-yard
touchdown pass to Brody Cupp.

That’s when Fairview began exposing Grand Junction’s defensive coverage. The Knights started slow, with a 20-yard field goal from Raul Magno late in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, they erupted for three scores.

Feauto connected on 29- and 66-yard touchdown passes before scampering in on a 3-yard run with less than a minute left in the half.

Carlo Kemp punched in a 2-yard rushing touchdown early in the third quarter, and Feauto hit Connor May for a 24-yard score less than six minutes later to give Fairview a 37-14 lead.

Grand Junction broke Fairview’s scoring run with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Michael Poland to James Antonucci, but Feauto added another touchdown pass, a 21-yard connection with David McWilliams, before exiting early in the fourth quarter.

Feauto excelled at playground football, extending plays with his legs while still looking downfield.

The senior threw for 404 yards and four touchdowns on 21-of-35 passing. He threw one interception, trying to throw the ball against the grain, but his legs generally helped him. Feauto rushed for 118 yards and a touchdown, putting his total offense at 522 yards, more than the entire GJ offense.

“We had some broken coverages,” Owens said. “Their last three drives of the first half were all built on one big play, where we had one guy get the wrong play or ran the wrong coverage. So, those are little things that we can change.”

Fairview’s backups scored once, and Grand Junction added a late touchdown on a 2-yard pass from Poland to Parsons.

The quarterback position is still up for grabs at Grand Junction, with Nourse and Poland splitting reps. Nourse took the majority of the snaps in the first three quarters, but he tweaked his right knee late in the game. He remained in the game but saw limited action.

Nourse finished with nine completions in 11 attempts for 149 yards and a touchdown, and he added 15 yards rushing on 11 carries. Poland took plenty of snaps late, and finished 9 of 17 passing for 131 yards.

Owens said the decision on the starting quarterback will be made after this Friday’s game against Fruita Monument.

“I think both of them played better today than they did against Montrose,” Owens said. “Jax maybe tweaked his knee, so we have to evaluate him. We knew by conference time we wanted to make a decision, but we’ll see how everything shakes out and go from there.”

Taylor finished with 86 yards on six carries before exiting with a right ankle injury in the second quarter. He also caught a touchdown pass.


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