Penalties and turnovers hurt Fruita in loss

With less than two weeks of practice, coaches are never sure what they’re going to get during a Zero Week game.

Fruita Monument first-year coach Sean Mulvey got a good effort Friday night at Broomfield, but a couple of penalties and crucial turnovers cost the Wildcats in an 18-6 loss.

“A couple of key plays here or there and we’re on the other side of that win,” Mulvey said. “These kids have a lot of fight in them, I knew they would come out ready to play. We’ve got a good staff and good kids and they’ve worked hard.”

The Wildcats were all business on the trip, he said, exactly what he wanted to see.

“It’s a focused group. When I got the job I asked them to get the idea in their minds of what they want to accomplish,” Mulvey said.

A first-quarter touchdown run by Cody Daniels was called back because of a holding penalty, so the Wildcats had to settle for a field goal by Spencer Fair and trailed 6-3 at halftime.

“We had some penalties, second and short and got the holding penalty,” Mulvey said. “Little mental mistakes turned out to haunt us. They were drive-killers. That was a touchdown-killer, I guess you’d say. It was a tough way to lose a game, but I’m happy with the kids.”

Fruita missed a chance to take the lead at halftime after a high snap on a Broomfield punt resulted in a blocked kick, with the Wildcats taking over at the 22.

Vince Grasso, who rushed for 97 yards on 26 carries, ran the ball to the 10, but quarterback Zach Thorpe was picked off in the end zone.

Fair tied the game with a 36-yard field goal in the third quarter and later, Daniels intercepted a pass to stop a Broomfield drive. An illegal block helped stall that drive, but Fair got a good roll on punt to the 22.

The Eagles, though, used a couple of big plays to retake the lead when Angelo Perez threw the first of two touchdown passes, hitting Kristian Niemi for 23 yards and a 12-6 lead.

Again, Fruita was driving, but Broomfield intercepted a pass at the 25, which led to the clinching 12-yard touchdown pass from Perez to Nick Ongarato with less than nine minutes to play.

Thorpe completed 15 of 31 passes for 117 yards.

Mulvey figures the Wildcats got more out of playing this week than scrimmaging.

“We just have some little things to clean up,” he said, “and I think we can be right there with most teams.”


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