Wildcats run wild in big victory over Discovery Canyon
On one side of the football, Fruita Monument was the bigger team. On the other side, they were smaller.
Either way, the Wildcats cruised past Discovery Canyon 49-14 on Saturday at Stocker Stadium.
Fruita’s huge offensive line was dominant, allowing running back Braeden Graham and fullback Treyton Queen to run all over the field. Graham had 20 carries and ran for 157 yards and two touchdowns. Queen had 15 carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns.
Both backs averaged roughly eight yards per carry as the Wildcats (2-0) simply overpowered the Thunder (0-1).
Fruita Monument coach Todd Casebier credited the offensive line for the big scoring day.
“I loved from mid-second quarter on that it was pretty good stuff from them,” he said. “When we’re able to do that, we’re going to be hard to beat. Our pass game will come, too. We’ve got a good player at quarterback and some athletic receivers, so we’ll keep working on that.”
On defense, in an effort to limit Discovery Canyon’s option attack, 5-foot-6, 180-pound Delson Pyland played at nose tackle. His side-to-side speed, mixed with 3-4 and 3-5 formations used by the Wildcats, kept the Thunder’s rushing attack subdued. Long known for its running game, Discovery Canyon had only 145 yards rushing. Many of those yards came against the Wildcats’ second team in the fourth quarter, as the Thunder had only 40 yards rushing against the first team.
“(Delson is) such a good athlete — he was a linebacker last week and we’ve talking about putting him at nose — he’s got some quickness and does some things that will help us,” Casebier said. “We’re down a couple big defensive linemen right now, so we’re hoping to get them healthy for next week. Delson did a good job and I thought the defense in general was outstanding. Coach (Andrew) Decker and the guys did a really good job, had a good plan, and that’s huge for us.”
Fruita turned the football over on downs during its opening drive, but its defense made the first of many stops, forcing Discovery Canyon to punt. The first two drives by the run-heavy teams took up most of the first quarter, but Queen capped the Wildcats’ second drive with a 6-yard rushing touchdown late in the frame.
The Thunder started the second quarter with a botched punt. A low snap brought the punter’s knee to the turf, and Fruita took over at Discovery Canyon’s 15-yard line. Three plays later, Zach Rush’s QB sneak put the Wildcats up 14-0. After another punt, Fruita rattled off a nine-play, 55-yard drive to go up three scores. Queen capped the surge with a 7-yard touchdown run.
The Thunder responded with a 78-yard touchdown pass, then Fruita wound down the clock with another long drive, this time finished by Rush. The junior rolled to his right, momentarily looking for a receiver before tucking the football and leaping for a 9-yard touchdown.
Fruita posted a three-score lead and ran for 216 yards in the first half. Queen said the offensive line allowed Fruita to find its rhythm.
“It was a lot of fun,” Queen said. “Our offensive line was great and they got a great push. We started off strong and we owned them up front. It was fun to run behind that.”
After scoring 21 points in the second quarter, the Wildcats added 21 more in the third. Fruita’s first drive ended in three plays — Queen broke off a 27-yard run, Graham followed with a 26-yard run, then Graham turned the corner on a 17-yard rushing touchdown.
Discovery Canyon fumbled and Fruita got the ball back inside the red zone. Graham took advantage with a 12-yard touchdown. Four minutes later, Jacob Burns took an outside run 23 yards for a touchdown to start a running clock for Fruita.