Mustang offense blanks Rams

Soroco volleyball falls to West Grand in three

The Soroco volleyball team came out dressed to the nines in its Friday match against West Grand, but dropped it in three games (25-16, 25-14, 25-23).

Decked out with sparkled homecoming hair-ties and tie-dyed socks, Soroco was not lacking for intensity, but rather undone by repeated errors.

"I don't know, we weren't our team tonight," Soroco senior Glenda Long said. "Our confidence has slipped after a couple losses."

In game one, West Grand took the lead after a 3-3 tie on a block from Danette Billington. The Mustangs held onto the lead by sneaking in a few tipped kills and capitalizing on early Soroco hitting errors. Soroco looked to make a stand at the end with a kill from homecoming queen Amanda Wilson, but the game ended at 25-16 on a Rams hitting error.

The Mustangs jumped to a quick 8-2 lead in the second game. With serves from Aryn Kresl, scrappy digs from Long and quality net play from Wilson, Soroco battled back to 19-13. But West Grand's Renea Ellison had a pair of kills to end the game in the Mustangs favor, 25-14.

In game three, Soroco tied on a trio of West Grand errors and took the lead after a pair of Wilson kills, 8-7. Then a kill and a couple hard serves from Sarajane Rossi tied the game at 16-16. The back-and-forth play continued between the teams all the way to 23-23, when the Mustangs finally pulled away.

"We finally picked up the momentum, but we can't start in the third game," Soroco coach Kim Reeves said. We're kind of in a funk now and we need to get that drive back that we had in the beginning of the season."

Long agreed.

"Last time it was the passing, tonight it was the hitting that was off, hopefully against Vail Mountain (6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Oak Creek) we'll get everything together," she said.

Soroco vs. West Grand

West Grand Soroco

14 First Downs 6

32-273 Rushes-Yards 45-104

5-15-1 Comp-Att-Int 3-11-2

91 Yards Passing 11

364 Total Yards 115

1-28 Punts-Avg. 6-32

3-3 Fumbles-lost 2-1

4-30 Penalties-Yards 8-54

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Soroco 00-00-00-00-0

West Grand 27-10-00-06-43

SCORING SUMMARY

First Quarter

WG 11:20, Mackenzie Widener, 46-yard run. (Sky Handyside kick).

WG 10:26, Jake Motz, 35-yard interception return. (Handyside kick).

WG 7:48, Marshall Kraker, 12-yard pass from Widener. (Handyside kick).

WG 0:27, Motz, 51-yard run. (kick fail).

Second Quarter

WG 9:51, Ray Vasque, 22-yard pass from Widener. (Handyside kick).

WG 6:03, Handyside, 22-yard field goal.

Third Quarter

None

Fourth Quarter

WG Cory Davis, 5-yard run. (kick fail).

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing

S: Cody Miles, 25-36; Justin Iacovetto, 12-32; Levi Gonzales, 5-31; Alex Estes, 3-5.

WG: Motz, 5-77, 1 TD; Widener, 5-71, 1 TD; Davis, 9-67, 1 TD; Louie Farrell, 6-17, Kraker, 1-20; Conner Widener, 6-21.

Passing

S: Miles 3-11-2, 11 yards.

WG: Widener 5-15-1, 91 yards.

Receiving

S: Jacob Hange, 2-9; Estes, 1-2.

WG: Kraker, 3-61, 1 TD; Vasque, 1-22, 1 TD; Handyside 1-8.

— The Soroco football team was hoping for some "total Ramination" against league opponent West Grand on Friday night in Oak Creek.

Unfortunately, the Rams homecoming motto didn't pan out. They met a capable Mustangs offense coming off a big Western Slope League win against Hayden last week. West Grand (3-1 overall, 2-0 in league) put together well over 350 yards of total offense to shutout Soroco, 43-0.

"We're really coming together as a team and our seniors are really stepping up," said West Grand quarterback Mackenzie Widener, who threw for two touchdowns and rushed for another.

Where West Grand could boast a stacked senior lineup, Soroco was fielding nine freshmen and missing senior linebacker (and homecoming king) Dennis Morgan to a knee injury. For the five available subs on Soroco's sideline, West Grand had 20.

West Grand used all of four plays and 40 seconds to get on the scoreboard as Widener broke free on an option right play to streak 46 yards to the end zone.

Then, on Soroco's second play of its ensuing opening drive, West Grand's Jake Motz picked off Rams quarterback Cody Miles for a 35-yard interception return.

The West Grand offense was relentless and with 27 seconds to go in the first quarter - after a Motz touchdown rush - Soroco was in a 27-0 hole.

"Soroco came out and played hard," West Grand coach Chris Brown said. "One of their best players is hurt, and we respect that because we went through the same thing last year."

Soroco coach David Bruner beamed about the guts and resolve of his young corps of players in their response in the second half.

"It's hard in the third quarter there when you're going against a varsity team - I had five freshmen out there at times, so we're working with the young kids and doing the best we can," Bruner said. "I was real pleased how everyone came out after the half, and I thought we played a good second half."

Three minutes into the second half, Soroco recovered a fumble to set up its best field position of the game. Then, a 28-yard Levi Gonzales reverse set up the Rams on the West Grand doorstep, getting as close as the four-yard line.

The Soroco defense held the West Grand offense, which did not take out its starters until six minutes left in the game, to a single second-half touchdown.

"Our kids, they'll keep getting better," Bruner said.

Soroco (1-3 overall, 0-2 in league) plays at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Paonia.

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