Rams rumble past Montrose
Big plays turn tide against Montrose
MONTROSE — One minute to go until halftime and things looked fairly good for Montrose.
Then one big play changed everything.
Rampart’s big-play offense, including a huge play near the end of the first half, helped the Rams to a 34-16 Pikes Peak Conference win over Montrose on Friday.
The first half in a nutshell was four plays and two touchdowns, then some defense, then the play that changed the game.
That play came with about one minute remaining until halftime after the Indians punted the ball to the 18-yard line.
That’s when Rampart quarterback Keion Cross slashed into the secondary, made a nifty cut to the outside, then blazed down the left sideline for an 82-yard touchdown run to give the Rams a 20-7 lead at the half.
Montrose head coach Jim Scarry said that play tilted the game dramatically in favor of Rampart.
“We decided to punt it and we just wanted to hold on, and we said we’re only one score down and we can come back and win the second half,” he said. “We knew how dynamic their players are and they have big-play potential. Give them the credit, the young man made a great play and it made it more of an uphill battle for us.”
The big run turned into a monumental momentum shift for Rampart when the Rams came out to start the third quarter and went on a 66-yard scoring drive to push the lead to 27-7.
Once again, the score came from the shifty and quick moves of Cross, who faked a handoff, made a hard cut and bolted in from 21 yards out.
After stuffing a run off a fake punt, the Rams went back to work and scored on a 7-yard run by Jared Behm to make it 34-7.
The Indians never quit, and late in the third quarter, quarterback Caleb Egbert made a great TD run from 19 yards out. He made the first defender miss, then juked another one before getting into the open field and running for the pylon.
Montrose (2-5, 0-2 PPC) took a 7-0 lead to start the game.
The first four plays from scrimmage made it look like the scoreboard operator would have a busy night.
On the Indians’ second play, tailback Sam Collins took a pitch to the left, made one cut and was gone for a 54-yard TD. He had 101 yards on six carries.
Rampart (5-2, 2-0) didn’t take long to answer. On the Rams’ second play from scrimmage, Xaiver Bishop-Falu busted through the line and outran everyone for a 77-yard TD to make the score 7-6. Bishop-Falu led all ball carriers with 159 yards on 12 carries. Cross added 100 yards on the ground.
Rampart put together a 13-play drive that was capped by a 10-yard scoring run by Chris Schockey to give the Rams the lead for good at 13-7.
Montrose had a couple of decent drives but after gaining 53 yards, a fumble turned the ball over to the Rams.
The Indians’ defense, led by Jared Prosser, Isaiah Gonzalez, Tobias Farnese and others, held the Rams in check for much of the first half.
The offense then went on a nice drive, keyed by fullback Cade Atwood’s hard running.
That’s when the Indians punted and Cross went on his back-breaking TD run late in the second quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Montrose had a nice drive that included a 30-yard run by Collins and some tough running from Riley Freeland. After moving the ball inside the five, the drive came up empty when Atwood was stopped just short of the end zone on fourth down.
Two plays later, Montrose junior linebacker Michael Brent broke free and collared the elusive Bishop-Falu in the end zone for a safety.
Freeland didn’t find many open running lanes but still finished with 108 yards rushing.
The Indians came into the game with a number of injuries, including one to speedy playmaker Mason Weig.
Scarry refused to use injuries as an excuse.
“Injuries are part of the game and we’ve been very unlucky,” he said. “I’m so proud of these boys, they’re working hard, playing hard and they’re playing Montrose football. Their effort is great, but when you’re having to switch your personnel every week (because of injuries) it’s just a challenge. But our kids play hard and I’m proud of them for hanging in there.”