Wildcats take charge
Big fourth quarter lifts Fruita past Central
It took a while, but Fruita Monument put last week’s loss behind it and persevered through the cold Friday night to defeat Central 47-14 in a Southwestern Conference football game at Stocker Stadium.
The Wildcats scored four touchdowns in the fourth quarter to pull away for their first conference victory of the season.
“We came out a little lackadaisical, kind of undermining this team a little bit and into the second half, too,” Fruita senior Matt Story said. “We went on a run and finally put them out.
“Leadership stepped up. Our captains got on the other players and got us going.”
Both teams struggled.
Fruita Monument (3-4, 1-1 SWC) had nine penalties for 80 yards. Central (0-6, 0-1 SWC) had 11 penalties for 85 yards.
Fruita quarterback Jacob Lynch completed 15 of 23 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns. He had 13 carries for 51 yards and two touchdowns.
Story caught four passes for 69 yards. Two of his catches went for touchdowns.
“The first couple he overthrew me a little bit,” Story said. “I guess I could take some of the blame for not jumping higher, but the last two were perfect. They fell right in my hands in the end zone.”
Fruita Monument’s defense kept Central in check, limiting the Warriors to 238 yards of total offense. Central quarterback Wyatt McElwain completed 10 of 28 passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns.
“We stepped it up in practice all week,” Fruita senior linebacker Tyler Brown said. “We had to come out and do our jobs and go 100 percent every play.”
Each team turned the ball over early in the first quarter, but neither team could capitalize on the miscue.
The Wildcats took advantage of a turnover on downs early in the second quarter when a bad snap on Central’s punt gave Fruita the ball on the Central 4-yard line. It took four plays, but quarterback Jacob Lynch scored on a 3-yard run for a 7-0 lead.
The rest of the quarter was marred by penalties. Fruita and Central combined to have 11 penalties for 100 yards in the second quarter and 14 for 115 yards in the first half.
Fruita had three penalties on one possession, costing it an opportunity to score.
The Wildcats took advantage of another short field midway through the second quarter with Isaac Rodriguez scoring on a 19-yard run with 5:42 left in the half. The three-play drive went 34 yards.
Fruita put together an 11-play drive, which included five combined penalties, just before the half for a 21-0 lead. Lynch scored on a 3-yard run.
“We left some points off,” Lynch said. “We had some mental errors that kept driving us backward. We had that long throw to (Nick) Chaffe that got called back. It’s little things like that that set us back from where we wanted to be.”
Fruita turned the ball over on its first possession of the second half, but the defense helped them out and forced the Warriors to punt.
The Wildcats moved deep into Central territory, but their drive stalled at the Central 8-yard line on an incomplete pass to the end zone.
Central came back with a 12-play drive. McElwain hit Coy Johnson for a 14-yard score with 58 seconds left in the third quarter. Central trailed 21-7.
Fruita Monument responded with a four-play drive with Juston Erekson scoring an a 62-yard reverse to go back up by three touchdowns 28-7.
Brown intercepted McElwain on Central’s next possession, setting up Lynch’s 17-yard touchdown strike to Story for a 34-7 lead.
“I think we responded well,” Lynch said. “We had some mental errors on defense, which isn’t good to see, but we pulled together.”
McElwain hit Darrion Alton for a 23-yard touchdown pass a minute later, but the Wildcats added two more scores to put the game away.
Lynch hit Story for a 36-yard touchdown pass, then Haddon Flowers scored on a 7-yard run.