by Chris Brown
West Grand Coach
Last Friday night in Blackhawk, four Mustangs made big plays to help lead the North to a 34-20 win in the All-State eight-man football game. Before a packed crowd, the evening was a tribute to hard-hitting, exciting action.
I was so pleased and proud that over 60 Mustang fans came to support these young men. They didn’t have to wait long, as, on the second defensive series, Alejandro Castanon knifed through a counter play and recorded a tackle in the end zone for a safety and a 2-0 lead for the North. He went on to make numerous tackles and also played a role on the offensive line. Austin Schake had a quarterback sack, three tackles for loss from his defensive end spot, and had a crushing hit on the South quarterback just as he released the ball.
On offense, running back Rene Dominguez found the running tough but managed to catch four passes from Jakob Buller with three resulting in first downs. He also was a returner and on the kickoff team. Jakob had some scrambling runs, lowering his shoulder to punish the tacklers. In his last drive, he hit Brody Despard, a Byers wide receiver, for a 28-yard touchdown pass on fourth down. He then ran in the two-point conversion. He also punted, once late in the game with the wind in his face from the ten to midfield.
The All-State game started in the late ’60s and has been an eastern plains staple, but with Coach Craig Ball of Gilpin County taking on the director position, it moved to their new turf field. They just received a grant to build new stands and press box that should be ready for next year’s game. Nevertheless, it was an outstanding evening with many either standing or bringing their own chairs.
After losing their season, it was great to see these four graduating seniors find a nice way to end their careers. As their head coach, Paul Fortunato of Rangely, told me, “what amazing athletes they are–smart, fundamentally sound–they were such a pleasure to coach.” I totally agree! Congratulations on a great game and outstanding careers.
by Chris Brown