Marsh seeing progress
Special teams, turnovers cost Central
The final score didn’t show it, but Central High School football coach Shawn Marsh believes his team is improving.
The Warriors gave up 40-plus points for the third time this season in a 40-3 homecoming loss to D’Evelyn on Friday night at Stocker Stadium, but 20 of those points came on special teams and turnovers.
“We’re better than we were last week,” Marsh said. “Our defense is much better. We gave up 40 points, but they played much better than they did a week ago. There’s a huge improvement there. We’re still not good tacklers, but they are getting in the right position.
“Our offense was our own worst enemy today. We put our defense in a bad spot the entire game. I was proud of the defense.”
D’Evelyn (3-1) was eager to put its 42-7 loss to Holy Family last week in the past.
“We were embarrassed because the team we beat the week before was better,” D’Evelyn coach Jeremy Bennett said. “We told our kids this is big for us because these are 4A wildcard points. I know Grand Junction Central is struggling a bit, but they’ve got good athletes and big kids. I know Coach Marsh is going to turn it around.
“We didn’t know what to expect. We knew it was homecoming. We wanted to come out, execute and play hard. I felt like we did that.”
The Jaguars took the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead. They went up 13-0 before their offense took the field with Dalton Hooks’ 30-yard interception return for a touchdown.
“We tell our kids (special teams) is a third of the game,” Bennett said. “It’s not a time to take plays off.”
D’Evelyn went 60 yards for a touchdown on its first offensive possession with Greg Pearson scoring on a 2-yard run for a 19-0 lead.
Central turned the ball over on its next possession, but D’Evelyn quarterback Connor Mateer was picked off by Tyler Hindson in the end zone. The Warriors went three and out.
Mateer led the Jaguars on a 74-yard drive, capping it with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Ty McGee for a 26-0 lead early in the second quarter.
D’Evelyn linebacker Greg Moinet picked off Central again on its next possession and returned it 28 yards for a touchdown.
The Jaguars went up 40-0 on their next possession when Mateer completed a 30-yard pass to Cameron Brown. Mateer completed 5 of 8 passes for 97 yards and two touchdowns. The Jaguars had 165 yards in total offense.
The second half, played with a running clock, was much better for the Warriors. They took care of the ball without a turnover and the defense didn’t give up a score.
On their second possession, Wyatt McElwain and Central put together a 11-play drive. The Warriors got to the D’Evelyn 8, but had to settle for a 45-yard field goal by Jake Sebesta.
Central (0-3) was limited to 42 yards in total offense. McElwain completed 3 of 7 passes for 26 yards, but threw two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns.
“Wyatt is our quarterback right now,” Marsh said. “He’s improving and he’ll get better. At this point, you teach kids and you continue to demand improvement. They’ll get there.”
D’EVELYN 40, CENTRAL 3
up next: Central at Green Mountain, 4 p.m., Sept. 20, Trailblazer Stadium