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Mean Moose miscues costly again

Posted: Saturday, Sep 29th, 2012

Junior wideout Bailey Garcia, a Monte Vista transfer who was recently cleared to play by CHSAA, hauls in one of his six receptions for 156 yards Friday in his first varsity start for the Mean Moose. Courier photo by Keith Cerny

Courier Publisher

ALAMOSA – A two-touchdown explosion late in the fourth quarter wasn’t enough to erase a disastrous third quarter as the Mean Moose suffered a third straight Tri Peaks League victory here Friday, 33-28, to St. Mary’s of Colorado Springs.

Alamosa had battled to take a 14-12 lead at the intermission, but gave up three Pirate touchdowns in the first 15 minutes of the second half to fall behind 33-14 with 8:36 left in the game. The Maroons had only one play for positive yards in the third quarter while giving up three second-half interceptions and one fumble, after an interception in the first half.

As has been the case in all three league losses for the 1-4 overall Moose, miscues led to their demise.

The Pirates (3-2, 1-2 Tri Peaks) were coming off a close loss to Manitou Springs last week after a defeat at the hands of Florence the week previous. St. Mary’s totally dominated time of possession in the third quarter.

“We just made too many mistakes again,” AHS Coach Al Ford said. “We had a great effort but let down in the third quarter. We have some young linebackers (two sophomores, one junior) and they need to step it up.”

Ford said his team just needs to start believing in themselves and put four quarters together.

Alamosa will host again next week as perennially powerful Trinidad comes calling for the Maroons’ homecoming tilt.

It took till the 4:12 mark of the fourth quarter for the Maroons to threaten in the second half. Taking over at midfield, senior quarterback Zach Meyer, who was 18-for-38 and 335 yards for the night, completed three passes in a row, the final a 37-yard touchdown strike to Jake Heaton who juked his way to the end zone with 3:30 left. Junior kicker Michael Cliff, who was perfect for the night on four PAT kicks, narrowed the lead to 33-21.

Less than a minute later, Meyer hit Kole Kelley on a leaping catch from 19-yards out to cut the margin to 33-28 with 2:46 left in the game. The 46-yard drive included a 17-yard run by Cole Martinez, who led the Moose in rushing for the night with a net 38 yards on eight carries. He was also a force on kickoff returns, including a 35-yard return in the third quarter that resulted in a Pirate pick three plays later.

Two on-sides kick attempts by AHS in the fourth quarter were unsuccessful, but a Nate Henry fumble recovery after the first attempt did lead to the host’s final touchdown.

Monte Vista junior transfer Bailey Garcia, who was recently cleared by CHSAA to play on varsity for AHS had a huge night, hauling in six passes for 156 yards. Heaton finished with six receptions for 95 yards while Kelley had 65 on five catches.

Garcia latched onto a Meyer bomb for Alamosa’s first score from 66 yards out with 3:14 left in the first period. The Cliff kick gave the Moose their first lead of the game, 7-6.

An acrobatic catch at the goal line by Garcia late in the second stanza set up Jordan Albert’s one-yard plunge for Alamosa’s 14-12 lead with 1:18 left.

“I was really nervous,” Garcia said of his first varsity appearance as a Mean Moose. “I wasn’t expecting such a big debut, but it felt really good to play with my friends.”

St. Mary’s did most of their damage on the ground, opening the game with a brutal running attack led by sophomore running back Ben Breier. He was also the dominating factor in the third quarter as he repeatedly ran around, through and over AHS defenders. Senior quarterback Logan Elliott also gained significant ground against the Moose.




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