Wounded Warriors

Injuries, other issues, keeping some Central starters off field

Josh Weller is the Central Warriors’ best offensive weapon through the first three games, catching 18 passes for 415 yards and four TDs. The Warriors will be without several starters this week against Green Mountain.

With starting quarterback Mike Price out this week with a concussion, Noah Sanchez will start at under center for Central. Sanchez completed three of nine passes in relief of Price last week in a loss to D’Evelyn.

Central High School proved it has wide receivers who can provide a deep threat. Now it just needs some players back in the starting lineup.

The Warriors (0-3) are yet to have a running back hit 100 total yards rushing this season, but wide receiver Josh Weller already has 18 receptions for 415 yards and four touchdowns, including two touchdown receptions last week in Central’s 38-29 loss at D’Evelyn.

“I like it when we have to throw the ball because it’s been working,” Weller said, “and I think we’re more of a run offense, but we’ve definitely been resorting to the pass game.”

Central starting quarterback Mike Price will not play against Class 4A No. 12-ranked Green Mountain (3-0) at 7 p.m. Friday at Stocker Stadium. Price is recovering from a concussion he sustained last week.

The Warriors’ Noah Sanchez, who against D’Evelyn completed three of nine passes — including fourth-quarter touchdowns of 65 and 81 yards to Weller — will start at quarterback Friday.

“We want to get our run game going so that we can do a lot of play action,” Sanchez said.

And Ed Becoat, a wide receiver who dislocated his hip three weeks ago against Palisade, will play against Green Mountain at about 80 percent health, he said.

“We have the talent at wide receiver,” Becoat said. “We’ll have that 100-yard game rushing and games with a couple-hundred yards passing. I like the way our offense turned out this year.”

But Central coach Vern McGee is plugging positions.

Starters out for this weekend are: Price, Giles Woolsey (wide receiver), leading tackler Conner Williamson (linebacker, fullback) and John Sullivan (strong safety).

Ed Medina, who would have replaced Sullivan, is out as well.

McGee said the reason Williamson and Sullivan will miss the game is because of unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties each had last week. Reasons other players are out range from injuries to personal issues such as ineligibility, McGee said.

That means 5-foot-7, 126-pound sophomore Dominic Haut-Quintana, who missed last season’s football and wrestling seasons with a broken leg, could start at safety.

McGee acknowledged he’s desperate.

“I’m trying to find healthy bodies to put out there,” he said. “Anybody and everybody could play. Two freshmen might start for us.”

Green Mountain, meanwhile, has defeated Greeley Central, Bear Creek and Golden.

Front Range foes

Fruita Monument and Grand Junction head to the Front Range for 7 p.m. Friday games.

Fruita is at Highlands Ranch, and Grand Junction, which dropped in the Class 5A rankings to No. 9, will travel to Westminster to play No. 15 Mountain Range.

Fruita’s game originally was scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, but because Highlands Ranch plays at a multi-use stadium, the game time remained at the discretion of Douglas County School District in order to accommodate other sporting events, Fruita Athletic Director Denny Squibb said.

Vince Grasso has 405 yards rushing and three touchdowns for the Wildcats.

Austin Lewis leads Grand Junction (3-1) in rushing with 520 yards, and he has run for four touchdowns.

Mountain Range (3-0) has outscored its three opponents — Northglenn, Brighton and Greeley West — 134-36.

Grand Valley MOVES

Grand Valley (3-0) is ranked No. 7 in Class 2A after winning at Olathe 52-7 last week.

The Cardinals were not ranked before the win over the Pirates.

What does it mean to be ranked?

“It doesn’t mean anything,” Cardinals coach Mike Johnson said. “I guess it’s nice to be recognized, but we’re not going to jump ahead of ourselves here.”

Grand Valley tight end and linebacker Stephan Padilla, who has four sacks and batted down three Olathe passes in the first half last Friday, could be the Cardinals’ best player on both sides of the ball, Johnson said.

Cardinals senior fullback and linebacker Jacob White has run for nearly 400 yards and has scored seven touchdowns.

After going 3-7 and 4-6 the past two seasons, Grand Valley is a league contender.

The Cardinals are at home Friday against Gunnison and will host No. 3 Bayfield (3-0) on Sept. 28.

“Our goals are big, and we certainly have had a nice start,” Johnson said. “We’ve been preaching to the kids to be hungry and humble.”

Can anybody drive a bus?

The Dolores at Paonia game that was scheduled to be at 7 p.m. Friday has been moved to 1 p.m. Saturday at Paonia.

The reason? Dolores could not find a bus driver for Friday, Paonia coach Scott Rienks said.

“I’m not saying football always takes precedent,” Rienks said, “but usually the football program is what gets the buses.”

Paonia last Saturday traveled five hours to La Jara to play Centauri. Paonia lost, 7-6.

“It wasn’t terribly bad,” Rienks said of the drive. “We had a lot of turnovers, but mentally we were a lot better than against Grand Valley. Maybe some of the fumbles were because we weren’t up to it, but I thought we played really well.”

Saturday will be the Eagles’ first home game of the season.


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