A 76-41 final score could perhaps be found more often in a high school basketball game, but that score ended up being the result of the Indians football game on Saturday
The Montrose High School football team (7-0; 2-0 in Metro) jumped out to an early 21-0 first-quarter lead before defeating the Denver South Rebels (2-5; 0-2 in Metro) by 35 points on the road.
The Indians scored a total of 10 offensive touchdowns with eight on the ground and a couple of TD throws from quarterback Keagan Goodwin. Montrose’s special teams also got into the scoring as Ethan Hartman found the end zone on a 75-yard kickoff return.
“Overall, we’re happy to get a win on the road,” Montrose coach Brett Mertens said. “It’s not always exactly how you would draw it up, but our kids made some plays and I thought we played pretty well overall.
However, the defense allowed some big plays by Denver South. The Rebels scored four touchdowns in the second quarter and again to start the third quarter against a talented Montrose defensive unit.
The hosts also found the end zone late, but it was against the Indians' junior varsity team.
Mertens said a few of Denver South’s scores came as a credit to the Rebels’ talented players. But, he added, those touchdowns also came down to busted coverage by his defense.
Either way, a focal point this week will be the Montrose defense eliminating those big plays, Mertens said.
The Indians were able to create some turnovers as they forced a total of four: two interceptions and a couple of fumbles recoveries.
Montrose started the scoring on the team’s first possession of the game. A key play of the drive came on fourth-and-short as running back Eli Evans went 17 yards thanks in part to a big block from offensive lineman Ben Robuck.
Two plays later, Hartman scored from 12 yards out to give MHS a 7-0 lead.
The Indians got some help from their defense on the Rebels’ opening drive. With Denver South in Montrose territory, the D forced a fumble which was recovered by Jack Griffin at the MHS 36-yard line.
On the next play from scrimmage, Montrose’s Trent Blundell took the ball to the house for a 64-yard TD run.
The Indians' defense once again came away with a turnover as Evans picked off a pass around midfield.
The short field helped Montrose to a three-possession lead as Blundell this time scored on a 33-yard run.
The visitors got some help on the kickoff as Aaron Dietrich’s kick bounced off a Denver South player which was recovered by Montrose. That same thing occurred again in the third quarter.
The Indians used the drive to help gain a 28-0 edge at the beginning of the second quarter.
The Montrose player who scored was a bit unusual as Robuck, normally one of the team’s guards, was in the fullback position and barrelled into the endzone from 1 yard out.
But this touchdown started a scoring frenzy as the two units combined for nine TDs in the second quarter alone.
Denver South earned its first score of the contest with a 5-yard TD run, however, the extra point was no good as Montrose led 28-6.
The Indians answered right away as Evans, on the team’s first play of the drive, found some running room on the outside before finding the end zone on a 64-yard run.
The Rebels then scored on a 44-yard touchdown scamper before Goodwin hit Dietrich in the endzone for 18 yards, giving Montrose a 42-13 lead
Denver South added more points on a 67-yard run on the second play of the team’s possession.
This was the first score in a quick succession of points.
Hartman scored on the aforementioned kickoff, and then the Rebels countered with a 70-yard pass on their first play from scrimmage.
But not to be outdone, the Montrose offense found the endzone after two plays: a 53-yard carry by Blundell and a Riley Barnhill 17-yard run. This gave Montrose a 56-27 advantage before halftime.
Denver South scored its final touchdown against Montrose’s varsity defense. It was another quick score on the Rebels’ third play of the second half. They took the ball to the house on a 47-yard run.
But Montrose answered, marching down the field and scoring on another 1-yard run by Robuck. The touchdown helped Montrose to a 63-34 lead.
A couple of series later, it looked like Denver South was going to score again, having the ball on the Montrose 1-yard line with a fresh set of downs.
But the defense came up with a big stop as Dietrich intercepted a pass in the endzone.
On the Indians’ next drive, Blundell found the end zone for the third time, but this time from 30 yards out.
During Montrose’s final possession of the game, the Indians gained a 40-point lead, forcing a mercy-rule running clock. The team’s final score came from Goodwin who hit tight end Kyler Bronec for a 22-yard score as Montrose led 76-34.
“Offensively, we were very dominant, and I thought our kids executed very well,” Mertens said.
Montrose will be on the road again for its next game. The Indians face Gateway at 10 a.m., Saturday.
Andrew Kiser is the Montrose Daily Press’ sports/business writer. Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kpress.