Cyclones claim Classic again
Monte Pinkerton was searching for answers. As was Scott Egan.
The opposing coaches in the 14th annual Pigskin Classic had similar thoughts after watching Pueblo West roll to a 28-0 victory over Pueblo County in the rivalry between the District 70 schools.
Both are looking ahead to getting better as the 2013 season unfolds.
For the record, the Cyclones scored 21 fourth-quarter points, capturing the Pigskin for the sixth time in a row and seventh time in the past eight years. Pueblo West leads the series 8-6.
Pinkerton, the veteran Pueblo West coach, was pleased and displeased all at the same time.
He was pleased with the way his team responded with three touchdowns in the fourth quarter and the ability to recover four of five onside kicks. He was displeased with the amount of penalties (18 for 111 yards) his team was whistled for, making the offense inconsistent.
“We started moving the ball a little bit and that’s more what Cyclone football is,” Pinkerton said of the final quarter. “That’s when we took control with our conditioning.
“We ran 25 offensive plays in the first half and had nine penalties. That’s unacceptable. But it all starts up front with us and we’re only going to get better.”
Egan, Pueblo County’s first-year coach, shook his head after his team was shut out for the second consecutive week to open the season.
“Phenomenal,” Egan said about the onside kicks. “You couldn’t draw it up any better.
“We’ve played eight quarters so far and haven’t put the ball in the end zone,” Egan said. “It’s hard to see what you can do when you don’t have the ball. You play against two of the top teams in the state with new coaches and new schemes. We should have been better prepared.”
Pueblo West sat on a 7-0 lead when Zac Drury found Noah Usry on a 6-yard strike to cap an 11-play, 71-yard opening-game drive.
The rest of the half was spent watching Drury run for his life scrambling behind his offensive line. And there was plenty of laundry on the field as the Cyclones were whistled for 12 penalties for 75 yards.
Pueblo County had the ball only twice in the first 24 minutes, running 15 plays for 25 total yards.
A trio of Pueblo County mistakes proved costly as the fourth quarter unfolded. The Cyclones took advantage of an interception, moving 80 yards on 10 plays with Kamron Clough dashing in for the score from 10 yards out.
Clough scored again moments later on a 6-yard run following a Pueblo West recovery of a muffed punt.
And the Cyclones struck again following another Pueblo County turnover. Drury, who completed two passes (both for touchdowns), found Shane Larson on a 27-yard hookup to complete the fourth-quarter explosion.
Clough finished with 142 yards on 33 carries and Drury also broke the 100-yard barrier with 112 yards on 19 carries. The Cyclones had 256 yards of offense compared to just 37 for the Hornets, who ran just 27 plays.
Pueblo County was credited with three turnovers but also failed to recover four onside kicks.
Despite the win, Clough knows his team can play better.
“Cyclone football is to punish them as much as you can. That’s what we do,” he said. “But penalties really kicked in. We have to put those in our back pocket and move ahead.
Our linemen are young without much experience and we’ll get better.”
Pueblo West 28, Pueblo County 0,
RightAlign.67RightAlign.77RightAlign.88RightAlign.100RightAlign.102RightAlign.111RightAlign.116.9P. County 0 0 0 0 — 0
RightAlign.67RightAlign.77RightAlign.88RightAlign.100RightAlign.102RightAlign.111RightAlign.116.9P. West 7 0 0 21 — 28
PW—Noah Usry 6 pass from Zac Drury (William Dos Santos kick), 6:35.
PW—Kamron Clough 10 run (Dos Santos kick), 11:18.
PW—Clough 6 run (Dos Santos kick), 7:54.
PW—Shane Larson 27 pass from Drury (Dos Santos kick), 5:20.
Rushing—P.County: Lane Lanier 13-42, Joe Romero 1-3, Troy Keys 1-(minus) 4; Keenan Willits 5-(minus) 7; P.West: Clough 33-142, Drury 19-112, Kaden Wills 9-45, Brandon Summer 1-14.
Passing—P.County: Willits 3-7-1, 7 yards. P.West: Drury 2-5-0, 33 yards.
Receiving—P.County: Keys 1-6, Lanier 1-4, RJ Vigil 1-(minus) 3. P.West: Larson 1-27, Usry 1-6.