Running Wild: Fruita puts up 70 in finale
Although it wasn’t a state football playoff game, Fruita Monument High School made one final case for its season Friday — a 70-36 victory over Northglenn in a non-qualifier game at Stocker Stadium.
As the Wildcats (5-5) won, Grand Junction, the Southwestern Conference team Fruita defeated 20-14 during the regular season, was in the midst of a 37-20 loss to Columbine some 250 miles away in a Class 5A first-round state playoff game.
But afterward, Fruita wasn’t openly knocking the wildcard points system that favored Grand Junction.
“That’s just the points system,” Fruita coach Sean Mulvey said.
And that was that.
More importantly, with the win over Northglenn (3-7) Fruita notched its first five-win season since 2003, Mulvey said.
Fruita finished 4-6 its past two seasons.
And there were many Fruita senior goodbyes.
How about a five-touchdown farewell from Vince Grasso? His prolific high school career ended with 248 yards rushing on 11 carries. His final carry went 55 yards for a touchdown.
Grasso had two touchdowns in the first quarter, the second of which was a 65-yard run. In the second quarter, he nearly returned a kickoff for a touchdown, going 80 yards to the Northglenn 17-yard line.
Grasso said he wants to play college football and is getting interest from Colorado Mesa University and other RMAC teams, but he wants to keep his options open. He finished the season with 1,488 yards rushing on 161 carries and scored 13 touchdowns.
“It doesn’t get any better, ending your senior season having fun out here with your friends playing football,” Grasso said. “Everyone was laying it all out.”
For Fruita, it was just that — fun. And exercise.
Zach Griggs bade adieu to high school football by doing one of the things he does best — returning kickoffs for touchdowns. Late in the second quarter, Griggs took a bouncing ball off the turf as Northglenn defenders closed in.
Griggs took his time, swerved through the first couple of waves of defenders, then broke into open field for a 90-yard touchdown return to put the Wildcats up 35-14. It was Griggs’ third kickoff return for a touchdown this season.
Earlier, Griggs had a 26-yard touchdown catch from Jake Lynch, a junior who completed four of six passes for 136 yards and three touchdowns.
“The points system is what it is,” Griggs said. “And we got a win in our last high school game.”
Can’t forget about Spencer Fair, who emerged as possibly the area’s top kicker with eight field goals on the season.
And how’s this for a kicker’s close-out game? He drilled 10 extra points.
Color/Fruita Monument blueFOOTBALL
Color/Central redfruita 70,
Fruita Monument’s season ends 5-5