Cyclones celebrate, gear up for ‘Part 2’
The game plans for Pueblo West and Pueblo Centennial were basically the same last Friday night.
Both teams were determined to do what they do best — run the ball, control the clock, minimize mistakes, and contain the opposing team’s dangerous quarterbacks and running backs.
Pueblo West (6-2, 4-1), executed this plan very well in earning a hard fought 21-7 victory over the talented Bulldogs.
It wasn’t exactly the masterful work of art, but the Cyclones put together a very solid effort in all phases of the game.
If there was a golden ball awarded for this game, it would have gone to the West defensive unit.
The defense flew to the ball and “team tackled” all night, forcing two interceptions and two fumbles.
They also held down the potent Bulldogs offense which was averaging over 40 points per game coming into Friday’s matchup.
Kelston Coats, Brandon Firkins, Trevor Encinias, Keith Hed, Zack Napier, Kaden Wills, Brock Wahlert, Travis Meyers, Brad Padilla, Cameron Vaughan, Ryan Olson, Josh Casias and Dominick Perea continue to deliver the vintage Cyclones defensive philosophy of physical, team football. Head coach Monte Pinkerton was especially happy with how his defense responded against Centennial.
“Our players fly around the ball on defense in a relentless pursuit of the football,” Pinkerton explained. “When everyone does their job—while flying around and hitting people—we have a real good chance of being successful.”
Unlike the Bulldogs, the Cyclones offense was able to bust the big plays that have become part of their trademark this season.
Tailback Cameron Vaughn clicked off a 67 yard touchdown run in the second quarter, and quarterback Zac Drury added yet another highlight reel touchdown run of 57 yards in the third quarter. Coincidentally, both quarterbacks (Drury, and the Bulldogs’ Quincy Kindred), ended up with the exact same rushing total (141 yards); but it was Drury that managed to break the big one.
Pinkerton also had high praise for the way his offensive unit stepped up in the big game.
“We moved the ball well all night”, Coach Pinkerton said.
“We have some real good players that understand the game very well,” Pinkerton added.
“They put in a lot of prep time watching video, as well as practice time, to get themselves ready each week.”
No doubt the Cyclones will be spending many more hours watching film this week as they prepare for another big cross-town showdown this Friday night against the league leading South Colts at Dutch Clark Stadium.
This week’s game has huge implications for determining the Foothills League champion, as well as the playoff possibilities for Pueblo West.
South will be the first “pass-first” team that the Cyclones have faced this season.
The Colts junior quarterback Nathan Spinuzzi is averaging over 200 yards passing per game. His favorite targets have been junior Devin Valdez (75 yds. per game), sophomore Dennis Ramos (56 yds. per game) and sophomore Isiah Pannunzio (42 yds. per game).
The Cyclones “Coach Pink” will again be looking for his team to bring their A-game against the very talented South Colts.
“South has had a great program and high expectations over the years, Pinkerton said. They have put it all together this year with experienced players, and some new young guys that have stepped in.
“We will need to control the ball and the clock, finish our drives, and limit their big plays in order to be successful,” Pinkerton summarized.