Wildcats’ triple-option running attack too much for Rangeview to handle

Mike Campbell runs in the second half for Fruita Monument.

Sean Hillman finds running room in Rangeview’s secondary.

Fruita Monument has only one idea of how offensive football should be played.

Run the ball, chew up clock and physically break down the opponent.

The Wildcats did just that Friday night in their 21-0 victory over Rangeview at Stocker Stadium.

“Our game plan all week was to come out and play hard-nosed, old-school football,” Mike Campbell said. “The line did perfect, they blocked well and we found the hole.”

Campbell started the onslaught when he returned the opening kickoff 50 yards to the Rangeview 30-yard line, then scored four plays later on an 11-yard run.

“Our kickoff team blocked it well and it couldn’t have been a better start,” Campbell said.

Campbell ended up with 75 yards on 13 carries, including a touchdown in the second half.

But the shifty senior was only one part of a three-headed running monster for the Wildcats.

Using the triple-option attack, quarterback Brett Nankervis found plenty of room on the edges and fullback
Sean Hillman shredded the middle of the Raiders’ defense, breaking off runs of 11, 13 and 17 yards.

Nankervis ended with 88 yards and one touchdown and Hillman had a career day, running for 146 yards.

“It really is a triple option because it is impossible to stop all three of them,” Fruita coach Bill Moore said. “We run it so many different ways, so it is pretty hard to practice for.”

But as strong as Fruita’s running game was early, Rangeview had a strong counter-punch to the Wildcats’ running attack with its senior running back, Max Baca.

Baca got the ball 15 times and gained 65 yards, but limped off in the second quarter with a leg injury. Baca came out of the locker room in the second half on crutches and did not return to the game.

Without its top running back, Rangeview gained only 29 yards on the ground in the second half, running mostly with fullback Kevin Hunholz and quarterback Tim Mardon.

Rangeview had a chance to score late but was stuffed on a fourth-and-goal situation from the 1-yard line.

“Defensively we are playing really good,” Moore said. “The kids flew around, were in the right places and we are at that point where we are getting better every game.”

With Rangeview unable to move the ball against Fruita, the Wildcats were able to keep the Raiders’ offense off the field in most of the second half, going on long, clock-eating drives. Fruita controlled the ball for two drives of about six minutes in the second half.

“It was good to come out and get a win on homecoming,” Campbell said.

Although the running game was impeccable, Moore did recognize the fact the Wildcats gained only 57 yards through the air. With the running game rolling, now it’s time to focus on the pass.

“I would say our running game has progressed but it is back to the drawing board to sharpen up our passing game,” Moore said. “We have our running game where we want it and we will get our passing game there, too.

Next week, Fruita opens Southwestern Conference play against Grand Junction at Stocker Stadium.


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