Buena Vista sidestepped losing a fumble at midfield on the fourth play from scrimmage and routed Roaring Fork 46-0 at home Saturday.
The Rams, playing their first varsity game in several years, stared down both a cold wind and adversity from before the opening kickoff. Buena Vista lined up a couple dozen players on its side, Roaring Fork had just six players suited up on the sideline as the game kicked off.
The Rams commenced their game-long struggles on the first series, which started at the Demon 44 – their only possession near midfield – when the Demons fumbled the opening possession.
Freshman quarterback Max Bollock leapt to snare two high snaps from the air following a sweep right for a yard loss on Roaring Fork’s first play from scrimmage. The third down wind-blown snap for a 10-yard loss forced a fourth-and-32 punt.
“The defense picked us up. Our defense has been known to keep us in games,” Buena Vista coach Matt Flavin said. “They got us the ball back and got us opportunity.”
The Demon defense dominated from the opening play’s first of six tackles for a loss. The Demons held Roaring Fork to minus 5 yards on 14 rushing attempts. The defense allowed 29 yards on 5-of-15 passing, but Terry Hirsch and Jacob Phelps picked off two others for BV.
Buena Vista used its second opportunity to move 57 yards in six plays, keyed by a 31-yard pass to Brandan Cattell to the Ram 15. The third of three runs by Kaden McFee planted the ball across the goal line from the Ram 1 with 6:24 left in the opening quarter.
Then it was the Demon offense that stared down adversity and the wind following a Roaring Fork 3-and-out. A high Ram punt sailed downfield and aided by a high bounce, was downed at the Buena Vista 1. As the Demons exchanged special teams for offense, “We prepared for this,” was shouted from the bench.
Apparently, the Demons were. They hit four first downs in five plays before sophomore BV quarterback Haden Camp completed ‘The Duck,’ a pass that updrafted in the wind and had Luke Reavis standing and waiting for the ball to drop from way up in the air.
When it did finally come down like a punt on the Rams side of midfield, Reavis raced upfield to the Roaring Fork 5.
“That was one of those plays where we try to peak and look for a fade downfield and if it’s not there, look for a shorter pass,” Flavin recalled. “Luke got behind the defense and it was a good thing he was very open because he waited a long time.”
Camp then hit the first of two touchdown passes, this from 4 yards out to Cattell.
At the end of the opening quarter, winds were reported at 14 mph at Central Colorado Regional Airport with gusts clocked at 22. Gusts on Demon Field were reported as weird.
Another three-and-out from the Demons defense as the second quarter opened set up a 25-yard punt return by Flowers and a 45-yard Camp-to-Tucker Storms scoring strike up the left sideline on the next play. Flowers added the third of his 5 PAT kicks (three line drives, 2 arced) for a 21-0 Demon lead with 10:42 still left in the half.
A midfield interception by Terry Hirsch midway through the quarter set up a 9-play, 60-yard drive that produced a 35-yard arcing field goal with the wind by Flowers with 1:52 left in the half.
Phelps intercepted a pass at the Ram 23 on the second play of the second half and after two runs by McFee, Cattell plunged up the middle and cut left for a 9-yard scoring run and a 31-0 lead at 9:57.
Three minutes and another three-and-out and 23-yard punt into the wind later, the Demons moved 48 yards in six plays. Camp cut left and lept a defender at the goal line to score from 8 yards out and a 38-0 lead following Flowers’ kick.
It took a full 30 seconds for Buena Vista to add its last touchdown. Cattell recovered a fumbled double handoff in the Ram backfield and BV started at the Roaring Fork 27.
Following an incomplete pass, Phelps ran right, cut back left and stiffarmed a defender at the 10 to score from the 27 with 5:31 remaining in the third quarter. This time the wind-aided line drive PAT kicked rang the right goal post upright hard enough to vibrate the field and bounced back.
As the mercy clock sped to zero, Buena Vista’s James Garrision interrupted an end-around handoff 3 yards deep in the Ram end zone for a safety with 1:36 left to close out the coring.
“Our boys played some sound football,” Flavin.” We need to lessen our mistakes and we’ll get better.”
Camp finished 8-for-15 passing for 173 yards and two touchdowns, completing passes to five receivers led by Storms’ 3-for-101 yards and TD.
“Receiving ought to be a strength for us,” Flavin said. “With the athletes we have, we would hope to spread it around.”
Buena Vista rushed for 200 yards and three touchdowns on 33 attempts, led by Phelps’ 12-84 and McFee’s 9-41
Buena Vista hosts the Grand Valley Fighting cardinals from Parachute at 1 p.m., Saturday.
“This game will be our first real big test of the season,” Flavin said.
Roaring Fork 00-00-00-00 – 0
Buena Vista 14-10-20-02 – 46
6:24 BV – Kaden McFee 1 run (Kam Flowers kick) 7-0
0:03 BV – Cattell 4 pass from Haden Camp (Flowers kick) 14-0
10:50 BV – Luke Reavis 45 pass from Camp (Flowers kick) 21-0
1:52 BV – Flowers 35 field goal 24-0
9:57 BV – Cattell 9 run (Flowers kick) 31-0
6:01 BV – Camp 8 run (Flowers kick) 38-0
5:31 BV – Jacob Phelps 27 run kick fail 44-0
1:36 BV – James Garrison safety 46-0