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Crowning kiss sparks Moose homecoming victory

Posted: Saturday, Oct 6th, 2012

Alamosa senior Jake Heaton (2) makes a flying backwards catch after he is undercut by a defender in the first half of Friday night's 27-26 victory over Trinidad. Courier photo by Eric R. Flores

Courier Publisher

ALAMOSA– Alamosa’s homecoming king may have stolen a public kiss from the queen at halftime Friday, but it was his performance on the Al Bennett gridiron that was really reserved for royalty.

Mean Moose senior wide receiver Jacob Heaton, son of Adams State University head football coach Marty Heaton, joined Alissa Sinclair as AHS homecoming king and queen, but his effort on the field led to the Maroons’ first Tri-Peaks conference win of the season in a squeaker, 27-26 over Trinidad.

The Moose led most of the way, but had a typical lackluster third quarter and had to score the winning TD with 1:05 left in the game to go to 1-3 in league play and 2-4 overall. Alamosa will be in Pueblo this Friday for a 7 p.m. tilt with Tri-Peaks’ opponent Dolores Huerta on CSU’s DeRose Bowl.

Heaton, who finished with 96 yards receiving on just seven catches, was in the spotlight with an acrobatic first half catch and a stunning kickoff return in the fourth quarter that led to the deciding touchdown.

“This was a great team win,” Heaton said, sounding like a coach’s son. “Trinidad is a good team and we finally put together a full game.”

Longtime AHS coach Al Ford said the difference in the game was fewer mistakes, even though he admitted that the Moose have got to figure out how to play better in the third quarter.

Alamosa led for the second time in two weeks at the half (21-12), but were slow on offense in the third period and fumbled on the first play of the fourth quarter and gave up back-to-back Miner TDs in the second half to trail 26-21 with 3:19 left in the game.

Heaton’s 30-yard kickoff return, killed by a blocking below the waist penalty, actually led to the winning score as senior QB Zach Meyer threaded the needle to junior Bailey Garcia from 14 yards out with just 1:05 remaining. The pass capped an 86-yard winning drive in just over two minutes, marked by Heaton’s 48-yard tackle-busting catch, aided by a 15-yard facemask penalty.

“I knew if I kept my feet moving, good things would happen,” Heaton said of the crucial reception.

With one of Alamosa’s leading receivers, senior Kole Kelley, who had 72 receiving yards for the game, 68 of which came in the first half, on the sideline with an injury, Meyer went to Heaton and junior Bailey Garcia (54 yards on 5 catches) on the deciding pursuit. The final 14-yards came on the bullet to Garcia.

Meyer was 20-of-34 passing for the night for 232 yards and no interceptions, and also rushed for 58 yards and two TDs. Senior Jordan Albert, who rushed for a touch, led the Moose with 59 yards, followed by classmate Cole Martinez with 51 as AHS finished with 171 yards running.

Alamosa drew first blood at Friday’s homecoming celebration when Meyer dashed in from nine yards out to cap a 52-yard drive.

The Miners, who dominated the ground game most of the night, was led by senior Chris De Angelis in the first half, but saw a couple of freshmen keep them in the bout the second half, quarterback Danny Martin (10) and fullback Thomas Bowman (27).

Trinidad took a 12-6 first-half lead after De Angelis, who mysteriously didn’t play in the second half, scored on runs of 75 and 43 yards in the first quarter. Alamosa’s go-ahead TD came with 4:46 left in the second stanza on an Albert four-yard run and a Meyer to Heaton two-point conversion.

Meyer ran 1-yard on the final play of the half, combined with Mike Cliff’s PAT kick, to give the Moose their 20-12 intermission lead.

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