Top-ranked Montrose happy to get Youngren back on field

Angelo Youngren missed time with a broken hand and broken collarbone this season but has been cleared to play Saturday in the Class 4A playoffs.



QUICKREAD

Class 4A Playoffs

No. 16 Montbello (7-3) at No. 1 Montrose (9-1)

First round, 1 p.m. Saturday,
Montrose High School

Coaches

Montbello — John Trahan, fourth year, 14-26.

Montrose — Todd Casebier, 10th season, 74-37.

About Montbello

■ This will be the Warriors’ first winning season since 2005. They had a stretch from 2006 to 2011 in which they had no more than two wins in five of those six seasons.

■ The Warriors lost three 4A Mountain Conference games in a row to playoff teams — No. 11 Standley Lake (31-21), No. 2 Monarch (56-7) and No. 10 Broomfield (21-13) — before winning their final two games of the regular season.

■ Montbello’s offense is extremely balanced with 1,540 yards rushing and 1,647 yards passing.

■ Jarell Nettles, a 5-foot-11, 246-pound junior, leads the team in rushing with 643 yards, averaging 5.5 yards per carry. He’s scored seven touchdowns.

■ Quarterback A.J. Thompson is second with 274 yards rushing, and he’s run for eight touchdowns. He has completed 102 of 160 passes for 1,427 yards and 16 TDs. He has thrown five interceptions.

■ Marquille Jones leads the receivers with 56 catches for 734 yards and seven TDs, and Jante Gadson has 25 catches for 303 yards and three TDs. Both are seniors.

■ Senior linebacker Anthony Morales is the leading tackler with 110 stops, and Nettles is next with 88, including 22 for loss, as an inside linebacker.

■ The Warriors have 22 sacks and 14 interceptions, including five by junior defensive back Kerry Jones.

About Montrose

■ The Indians matched Grand Junction and Durango with 3-1 records in the Southwestern Conference, but the tiebreakers favored Grand Junction for the championship.

■ Montrose has a run-heavy offense, rushing 509 times for 3,558 yards versus 77 pass attempts and 672 yards through the air.

■ Junior Mike Rocha leads the Indians with 1,266 yards and 21 TDs rushing. He averages 6.1 yards per carry.

■ After 1,000-yard seasons as a sophomore and junior, injuries have limited senior tailback Angelo Youngren to four games and 505 yards. He’s averaging 10.5 yards per carry and has scored six touchdowns. He has been cleared to play Saturday after missing four games with a broken collarbone.

■ Senior Pete Shearer and junior Nick Foster and have 565 and 478 yards rushing, respectively. Shearer is averaging 9.4 yards per carry, and Foster is averaging 7.2. Both have run for three TDs.

■ Junior quarterback Kameron DeVincentis has completed 39 of 75 passes for 672 yards. He has nine TDs and two interceptions. He also has run for 270 yards and five TDs on 41 carries.

■ Shearer leads the team with 14 catches for 189 yards and two scores.



A fantastic regular season made Montrose the No. 1 seed in the Class 4A football playoffs, an accomplishment achieved with star running back and defensive back Angelo Youngren sidelined much of his senior season with injuries.

Youngren is back, cleared Thursday to play, giving Montrose its most explosive weapon for the postseason.

Things are looking good in Montrose as they prepare to host No. 16 Montbello in a first-round playoff game at 1 p.m. Saturday.

But recent history is reminding Indians coach Todd Casebier to take nothing for granted. The Indians hosted first-round playoff games the past two seasons and lost each time.

So this game, he said, “has all of our attention.”

How much Youngren will be used Saturday remains to be seen. He’s been out with a broken collarbone since having a great game — 266 yards and three touchdowns rushing — in a 39-34 win over then-top-ranked Monarch on Sept. 27. A hand injury limited him before that, and he essentially has played only two full games this season, which was primed to be a big one for the 2012 offensive player of the year in the Southwestern Conference.

Casebier said start with that player-of-the-year honor to understand the impact Youngren makes. Then, the coach added, consider he starts on defense and special teams, and throw in how hard he worked in the offseason, driven to make his senior season something special.

While Youngren was out, though, Montrose forged ahead with its run-heavy attack, led by Mike Rocha, a big and fast running back who has bulled and blazed his way to 1,266 yards and 21 touchdowns on 207 carries. Senior Pete Shearer moved from wide receiver to running back in Youngren’s absence and rushed for 565 yards.

For the season, the Indians have run the ball 509 times in 10 games, averaging 356 yards rushing per game.

Junior quarterback Kameron DeVincentis has been effective on those rare passing occasions, throwing for 672 yards and nine touchdowns. He also has run for 270 yards.

Montbello, said Casebier, will be the most balanced team the Indians have faced this season. The Warriors have run for 1,540 yards and passed for 1,647.

Senior quarterback A.J. Thompson is the catalyst of the offense, Casebier said, adding, “He’s explosive, makes plays with his legs and his arm. ... He has a strong arm. We’ve seen on film where he’s thrown it 40-50 yards in the air.”

Thompson has completed 64 percent of his 160 passes, including 16 touchdown tosses. He also has rushed for 274 yards and eight touchdowns.

The challenge for the Montrose defense will be make the Warriors earn everything they get, Casebier said.

Meanwhile, the Indians’ offense wants to control the ball and finish drives.

“Ideally,” Casebier said, “you want to make them play from behind.”

Montrose notes

Casebier said his team will be as healthy as it has been all season with the return of Youngren.

“We haven’t had everybody (healthy) except for Monarch this year,” Casebier said.

■ Youngren is one of four Montrose seniors who have been starters since they were sophomores. Shearer, who also starts at linebacker, offensive lineman/linebacker Conner Lawson and tight end/defensive lineman Irah Wooten also are three-year starters.

“Those guys rarely leave the field,” Casebier said.

■ Montrose last won a playoff game in 2009. The Indians also won 4A first-round playoff games in 2005, 2006 and 2008. They lost in the second round each year.

The Indians lost 35-14 to Mesa Ridge in the first round last year.


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