PUEBLO — This isn’t the start Doug Johnson, the Longmont High School football coach, envisioned for his team.
The Trojans jumped out to an 11-0 lead in the first quarter and then couldn’t do much of anything right in falling 41-25 to Class 3A Pueblo East Friday night in the season-opening game for both teams at Dutch Clark Stadium.
“The interception totally changed the momentum of the game,” Johnson said about Manuel Arellano’s 7-yard second quarter interception return that got the Eagles back in the game. “It was one of those things that was a little bit of off time on our part and we just never got back the momentum. I didn’t do a very good job. I’m not very happy with the job I did. We have some great kids and we are better than what we showed (Friday night).”
Longmont seemed to be in control taking an 11-0 lead on a Clint Sigg’s 3-yard run yard and a two-point rushing conversion. Junior kicker Connor Rothe then booted 39-yard field goal, pushing the Trojans’ advantage to 11-0 with 10 seconds left in the first quarter.
With the Eagles slowly drowning against the physical Trojans, Sigg threw out a life preserver when Arellano intercepted his pass out of the end zone and returned for the score at the 5 minute, 32 second mark of the second.
That touchdown injected life into Pueblo East, and when quarterback Danny Martin lofted a 58-yard pass to Bryson Torres down the left sideline East was in business at the Longmont 2-yard line. Moments later, Martin snuck in from the one and then tossed a 2-point conversion pass to Bruno DeRose, giving East a 15-11 edge with 18 seconds left in the half.
“We talked about standing up and responding to adversity and the guys just kept fighting and I’m extremely proud of them,” East coach David Ramirez said.
Torres (164 yards rushing and 64 receiving) and junior quarterback Danny Martin (187 yards passing and 50 rushing) fueled the Eagles comeback.
“This feel great,” said the 5-foot-9, 185-pound Torres, who was making his first varsity start. “I’ve been working for this for awhile and this what our team trained all summer for to play like this.”
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Pueblo East 41, Longmont 25
At Dutch Clark Stadium
Longmont (0-1) 11 0 7 7 — 25
Pueblo East (1-0) 0 15 13 13 — 41
Longmont — Clint Sigg 1 run (Sigg run); Longmont — Connor Rothe 39 field goal.
Pueblo East — Manuel Arellano 7 interception return (kick failed); Pueblo East — Danny Martin 1 run (Bruno DeRose pass from Martin).
Pueblo East — Sonny Arellano 19 run (kick blocked); Pueblo East — Bryson Torres 14 run (Sal Plancarte kick); Longmont — Eli Sullivan 95 kickoff return (Rothe kick).
Pueblo East — DeRose 5 run (Plancarte kick); Pueblo East — S. Arellano 77 interception return (kick blocked); Longmont — Trevor Cook 24 pass from Sigg (Rothe kick).
RUSHING — Longmont: Sigg 14-47; Berger 11-53; Sullivan 3-14; Gabrielle 1-5; Pueblo East: Torres 21-164; Martin 19-50; Arellano 3-30; DeRose 1-2; Benavidez 1-minus-4.
PASSING — Longmont (comp-att-int-yards): Sigg 14-24-2 128; Pueblo East: Martin 11-16-1 187, Ribarich 0-1-1.
RECEIVING — Longmont: Sullivan 4-53, Cook 2-39, DeWitte 2-27, Berger 2-16, Gabrielle 2-4, Swartz 1-4; Tank 1-0; Pueblo East: Ribarich 7-134; Arellano 1-6; DeRose 2-11; Torres 1-6.