Fruita Monument dominated in all three phases of the football game from the start.

The Wildcats took advantage of turnovers and ran the ball at will, defeating Centaurus 55-0 on Friday night at Stocker Stadium.

"The coaches talked to us about playing as one team and one unit, if we do that the scoreboard will show the result," Fruita linebacker Espin Hernandez said. "It was really great. It was a big win, especially for the homecoming game."

The Wildcats (3-3, 1-0 Class 4A Pioneer Conference) started strong and rode the momentum. By halftime, Fruita Monument had 250 rushing yards and led 41-0.

"I'm proud of our effort tonight," Fruita coach Cameron Ross said. "We talked about all week that we needed to come out strong early and I think we accomplished that tonight."

Centaurus (2-4, 0-1) lost 18 yards on its first play from scrimmage when the snap sailed over the quarterback's head in shotgun formation. Three plays later, Centaurus punted.

Fruita Monument quickly established the running game, going 56 yards in eight plays capped by a Armony Trujillo 12-yard touchdown run. Trujillo had seven of the eight rushes on the drive.

Centaurus was forced to punt after gaining two yards and Fruita Monument nearly returned the punt for a touchdown. Ethan Cox went 57 yards, but was corralled on the Centaurus 8. One play later, Denim Luster scored to give the Wildcats a 14-0 lead.

"Man, I was so close," Cox said of the punt return. "I have to give it to my blockers. They all did their jobs. I couldn't have done it without them."

The Wildcats continued to run the ball with no trouble, going 54 yards in nine plays for another touchdown. This time Cox and Luster split the duties with Cox scoring on a 6-yard run for a 20-0 lead early in the second quarter.

Cox had a 55-yard run on the Wildcats' next possession leading to a Luster 3-yard touchdown run.

Fruita Monument's special teams recovered a fumble on the kickoff return, then Cox scored on a 13-yard pass from Calvin Nycum. Cox finished with six carries for 89 yards, one reception for 13 yards, a 57-yard punt return and two touchdowns.

"Ethan did great," Ross said. "He's not the biggest guy out there, but man he plays a big game. He has a big heart and gives you everything he's got."

Trujillo led the Wildcats with 11 carries for 94 yards and one touchdown.

Fruita Monument scored one more time with 2:37 left in the first half to take a 41-0 lead on a Luster 29-yard run. Luster finished with six carries for 71 yards and three touchdowns.

The Wildcats opened the second half with a 9-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. Nycum scored on a 7-yard run.

Fruita Monument recovered another Centaurus fumble on a kickoff return and the Wildcats scored on a Samuel Ontiveros 1-yard run.

Fruita also dominated on the defensive side of the ball, limiting Centaurus to one first down the entire game — by a Fruita penalty.

"We had a great game plan defensively," Ross said. "We knew if we played well, there was a chance we could get a shutout. That was really our goal to limit them to as little points as possible. Centaurus has some decent speed. We knew if we didn't play well, they would take advantage of that."

The Wildcats play Thornton next week.

"We told our kids our focus is this is a brand new season (conference)," Ross said. "Now, we are 1-0. Our goal is to get to 5-0. What we want to accomplish is win our (conference), host a playoff game and control our own destiny. We have to take it one week at a time to do that. The next team in our way is Thornton."

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