LONGMONT –This was a classic case of whatever could go wrong, absolutely did go wrong for the Longmont football team.
It already was an opening night the Trojans pretty much were ready to forget by the time much of the crowd at Everly-Montgomery Field had settled into the bleachers. Once Ralston Valley quarterback Jacob Knipp was finally finished carving up the Trojans’ defense, Longmont was sent off into the night with a demeaning 41-3 defeat.
The Mustangs rolled up 550 yards of offense and spent much of the second half watching the running clock tick away under the mercy rule after taking a 41-0 lead midway through the third quarter. Longmont appeared baffled by the spread offense Ralston Valley unleashed out of the gate, yet Trojans head coach Doug Johnson said his team was prepared for the Mustangs’ frenetic style of offense, going on to say the effort counted as perhaps the low point of his coaching career.
“I did a terrible job of getting them ready. That’s the bottom line,” Johnson said. “That’s the worst coaching job I’ve ever done. I’ve got a great team and we looked terrible execution-wise. That’s on me totally.
“We were ready but we were a little overwhelmed with their speed. We had some assignment breakdowns and just didn’t play like I know that we can. But we’ll fix it.”
Longmont already began the game short-handed as starting quarterback Forrest Wetterstrom remained in street clothes on the sideline, serving a one-game suspension for a violation of team rules. The Trojans lost senior defensive back C.J. Franchini in the first quarter to what is believed to be a serious knee injury, and the score might have been even more lopsided if not for penalties that nullified a pair of Ralston Valley touchdowns.
Wetterstrom was replaced by sophomore Clint Sigg, who was on the field for only six plays before Longmont faced a 20-0 deficit. Sigg finished just 3 for 8, but he received marginal help from his teammates. Sigg’s first pass attempt ended with a blatant drop, a first-half interception occurred on a tipped ball, and a potential third-down conversion late in the first half skimmed off the hands of one of Sigg’s receivers.
“We have to make sure we learn from this, and I have to get better,” Johnson said. “We have a lot of things to work on. As a group, we were just totally out of sync.”
Although it likely will be hollow solace to the Trojans, Wetterstrom’s presence probably would not have helped much given the way Knipp dissected the Longmont defense. The junior completed 23 of 27 passes for 413 yards and four touchdowns while distributing the ball to seven different receivers.
Wetterstrom clarified that his suspension was the result of a celebratory cigar he smoked on the final day of school last spring, a violation of the school’s athletic code of conduct. Wetterstrom expects to be back under center next week as the Trojans attempt to regroup on a demanding road trip to Grand Junction Central.
Longmont averted the shutout on a late 26-yard field goal by Miles Bergner.
“I just made a selfish decision,” Wetterstrom said. “I paid the price, and there already is a big fire in my belly for next week.”
Follow Pat Rooney on Twitter: @prooney07
Ralston Valley 41, Longmont 3
At Everly-Montgomery Field
Ralston Valley (2-0) 20 14 7 0– 41
Longmont (0-1) 0 0 0 3 — 3
Ralston Valley — Jakob Buys 3 run (run failed).
Ralston Valley — Keenan Gibson 61 pass from Jacob Knipp (run failed).
Ralston Valley — Carlos Gonzales 18 run (Gonnzales pass from Knipp).
Ralston Valley — Gibson 15 pass from Knipp (John Morales pass from Knipp).
Ralston Valley — Hunter Price 33 pass from Knipp (pass failed).
Ralston Valley — Price 27 pass from Knipp (Collin Root kick).
Longmont — Miles Bergner 26 field goal.
First downs 16 5
Rushes-yards 22-136 27-59
Passing yards 414 33
Comp-Att-Int 24-28-0 3-8-1
Punts-Avg. — 6-37.2
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 2-0
Penalties-Yards 9-93 1-5
RUSHING — Ralston Valley: Gonzales 8-56, Day 2-33, Leech 1-20, Vessa 2-18, Wingard 4-9, Buys 2-3, Knipp 3-(-3). Longmont: Greeott 9-43, Goodner 3-15, McCabe 2-11, Lopez 2-3, Sigg 10-(-9), Stenson 1-(-4).
PASSING (comp-att-int-yards) — Ralston Valley: Knipp 23-27-0, 413; Day 1-1-0, 1; Longmont: Sigg 3-8-1, 33.
RECEIVING — Ralston Valley: Gibson 7-173, Gonzales 4-43, Morales 4-85, Price 3-78, Buys 2-20, Wingard 2-16, Svejcar 2-(-1). Longmont Zuege 1-12, Goodner 1-12, Speidel 1-9.