Sports: Prep Notebook November 18, 2008

Misfortune hinders Montrose’s title run

Erick Ghent DB form Greeley West HS tips away a pass from No. 87, Shane Hedrick WR from Montrose

Montrose’s football team can relate to something Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said.

One of the winningest coach in Division I college football once remarked, “To have the kind of year you want to have, something has to happen that you can’t explain why it happened. Something has to happen that you just can’t coach.”

After being fundamentally sound all year, the unexplained happened to the Indians in the second round of the playoffs, but not in a good way. The Indians allowed five turnovers and didn’t cause any in their 22-8 loss to Greeley West in the quarterfinals of the 4A state playoffs.

“There was nothing we could do, the ball didn’t bounce our way,” Montrose running back Glayden Berry said.

The loss was a game in which misfortune snowballed for the three-time Southwestern Conference champions.

Montrose turned the ball over on every series in the second half and scored a season low eight points, despite gaining more than 300 yards of offense and 18 first downs. The Indians also couldn’t take advantage of the Spartans’ seven penalties for 76 yards.

“I call the plays, and six points (one touchdown by Berry in the second quarter) wasn’t enough,” Montrose coach Todd Casebier said. “Our defense gave up only one big play (a 63-yard rushing touchdown), but offensively we couldn’t get it done.”

The loss doesn’t take away from the legacy the 19 seniors established at Montrose in their four years. Players like Brian Rumbaugh, Taylor Neill and Mac Alexander anchored the defense, while seniors David Turner and Shane Hedrick were important to the team’s offensive success.

“The seniors are outstanding,” Casebier said. “They have kept the league title here three years, and have been a great group to coach. They love each other and that is what you expect from them.”

Montrose went an impressive 34-13 the past four seasons, including undefeated SWC records the past two years.

“I am very proud of my group because we put in so much work ever since we were freshmen,” Senior safety
Alexander said. “Winning the SWC three straight years, and winning 10 games this year has been great.”

While losing the large group of seniors will hurt the Indians, they still have plenty of firepower for the future, including an in tact backfield of running backs Jordan Passehl and Berry,  along with sophomore quarterback Nathan Robertson.

Berry said as a senior next season he hopes to follow the example set by the current group of seniors.

“Our seniors had great leadership, the best I have ever been around,” Berry said. “I learned everything from them.”

With Montrose out of the playoffs, only two Western Slope teams are still alive. Glenwood Springs at 3A has lived up to its No. 1 seed, as it has scored 50 points in the first two rounds in beating Roosevelt and Berthoud. The Demons are at home this week to take on No. 5 seed Mountain View.

Olathe has played just as strong at 2A, cruising past Buena Vista and Kent Denver on its way to a showdown with No. 2 seed Faith Christian. The Eagles have won two state championships since 2004, but do have to travel to face the Pirates and their dominate running game.

Both games are at 1 p.m. on Saturday.


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