LONGMONT — The 8-man Plains League is tough and the Longmont Christian football team knows it.
The Warriors got a taste of Plains League competition on Friday, losing 40-12 to Haxtun at home.
It was a tough loss, but the Haxtun game was an improvement over the Warriors Week 2 loss to Vail Christian.
“We were pretty disappointed last week in how we played, and that’s the part we can control,” Warriors head coach Jerry Martin said. “I felt like, and the kids did too, that there was a lot of improvement. We definitely did better things this week than we did last week. But, it’s certainly not enough.”
The Warriors allowed 223 passing yards and three passing touchdowns to Vail Christian. Against the Bulldogs, Longmont Christian allowed just one completion for six yards, partly due to the fact that quarterback Brady Heinz threw the ball just five times. And the Bulldogs (275 yards) were running at will.
“Our goal was to try to get them to run at us, and they did and did a great job,” Martin said. “We didn’t guard the edges very well on run defense, but definitely a vast improvement on pass defense.”
The Warriors sacked Heinz three times but repeatedly let the tailbacks get to the outside for big runs.
“We definitely worked on our pass defense a lot this week because Vail Christian exploited that weakness,” Caleb Flowers said. “I think that we stepped that up a lot. Obviously, were gonna have to fix our run defense now.”
The Warriors offense didn’t make it easy on the defense, giving the Bulldogs good field position with fumbles, bad snaps and interceptions.
But Longmont Christian did pull off a couple big plays against the tough Haxtun defense, which had allowed just 20 total points in three games to start the season.
In the second quarter, senior receiver Austin Jauregui caught a pass on a crossing route, broke a tackle and took the ball 67 yards for the Warriors’ first score.
“Once I saw green, I went on that one,” Jauregui said. “I just felt him (the defender) over the top of me, so he (quarterback Michael Rampson) made sure the pass was outside and I just stayed outside.”
Later in the fourth, Rampson, who would play tailback if quarterback Michael Charles wasn’t injured, took a quarterback keeper 76 yards for a score of his own.
Martin said the Warriors’ goal, win or lose, is to improve each week. They did that Friday.
The Warriors’ league schedule won’t get any easier going forward. Martin said the team will try to build on the things it did well against the Bulldogs.
Brad Cochi can be reached at email@example.com.
Haxtun 40, Longmont Christian 12
At Sandstone Ranch Park
Haxtun (4-0, 1-0) 13 7 7 13 — 40
Long. Christian (1-2, 0-1) 0 6 0 6 — 12
Haxtun — Weston Salyards 1 run (Karsten Anderson kick).
Haxtun — Salyards 8 run (Anderson kick blocked).
Long. Christian — Austin Jauregui 67 pass from Michael Rampson (run failed).
Haxtun — Ryan Nelson 33 run (Anderson kick).
Haxtun — Tyler Horalek 5 run (Anderson kick).
Haxtun — Brady Heinz 46 run (kick failed).
Haxtun — Jake Gerk 30 interception return (Anderson kick).
Long. Christian — Rampson 76 run (pass failed).
First downs 14 7
Rushes-yards 49-275 29-151
Passing yards 6 116
Comp-Att-Int 1-5-0 7-17-2
Punts-Avg. 1-30 4-43
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 6-1
Penalties-Yards 3-25 3-15
RUSHING — Haxtun: Nelson 16-160, Salyards 10-41, Horalek 5-30, Heinz 12-26, Gerk 5-22, Dalton Salyards 1-(minus 4); Long. Christian: Rampson 14-128, Aaron Rodarte 7-13, Jauregui 3-7, Parker Liske 2-2, James Dick 3-1.
PASSING (comp-att-int-yards) –Haxtun: Heinz 1-5-0, 6 yards; Long. Christian: Rampson 7-17-2, 116 yards.
RECEIVING — Haxtun: Cody Fix 1-6; Long. Christian: Jauregui 4-118, Rodarte 3-(minus 2).