No passing fancy
Montrose surprises GJ with aerial attack in win
MONTROSE — Already up 16-0 early in the second quarter Friday night, the Montrose High School football team lined up for a fourth-down play with 5 yards to go.
They started in a packed formation, setting up for a run and traditional Montrose football. Quarterback Kam DeVincentis then motioned to the offense, and four receivers spread sideline-to-sideline with an empty backfield.
DeVincentis connected with Nick Foster on a 6-yard out route that Foster turned into 27-yard touchdown, one of the senior quarterback’s two passing touchdowns, to lead Montrose to a 41-15 victory over now nonconference rival Grand Junction.
Not a traditional result for the Indians, either.
Battles between Montrose (1-0) and Grand Junction (0-1) in the now-defunct Southwestern Conference were typically tight and physical.
This most recent version of the rivalry, however, displayed only physicality from the Indians. Montrose forced five fumbles, four of which they recovered. They planted hit after hit on the Tigers.
“Junction beat us last year in a game we didn’t play as well as we probably should have,” Montrose coach Todd Casebier said. “It was a big game for us — it has been around here for years — and our guys did a good job rising to the occasion.”
DeVincentis completed five of 11 passes for 94 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 35 yards on eight carries and ran in a two-point conversion.
“We know we can pass the ball if we need to,” DeVincentis said. “We’ve been working all summer, throwing the ball around and in 7-on-7s. We’ve been working on our catching and our routes, too, and it showed tonight.”
Mike Rocha, the Montrose fullback, had 29 carries for 187 yards and two touchdowns.
“He’s our guy,” Casebier said. “He’s the guy we’re going to lean on throughout the game and throughout the season.”
DeVincentis is firmly the starter for Montrose at quarterback, which is in stark contrast to Grand Junction’s quarterback situation. The Tigers worked in three different quarterbacks during Friday’s game.
Jax Nourse took the majority of snaps under center, completing eight of 17 passes for 96 yards. He was also tough to bring down when he ran, often carrying multiple defenders with him.
Jack Parsons served as the Wildcat quarterback, throwing the ball only once. But Parsons ran for a 79-yard touchdown early in the third quarter and finished with 101 yards rushing on 11 carries.
Mike Poland completed three passes in eight attempts for 34 yards. He also ran for 52 yards on two carries.
Grand Junction coach Robbie Owens said Nourse impressed him with his play, as did Parsons and Poland. He added that although Nourse looked good, the sophomore is recovering from an ACL tear in his left knee during his eighth-grade year.
“I think Jax is going to be very special, and he does some things that make him unique,” Owens said. “He’s got a live arm, can throw the ball a heck of a long ways. But he’s young. He’s in a situation where he’s trying to learn. I like what Jack Parsons does, and Poland had a big run as well.
“The problem we have right now is that we have three guys who are very different. We’re going to have to go back and re-evaluate. The problem I have is that I love all three of these guys and what they bring to the table.”
Owens said he was also impressed with DeVincentis’ improvement and Montrose’s defense, adding DeVincentis is “a scrappy athlete,” and he was “surprised Casebier didn’t use him more.”
Grand Junction faces Fairview next week. Where Montrose runs the ball consistently, Fairview throws all over the field.
“We’re going to go to our morning practice tomorrow and rework our defense,” Owens said. “We’re going to get completely different looks with Fairview and Fruita Monument.”