GET BREAKING NEWS IN YOUR BROWSER. CLICK HERE TO TURN ON NOTIFICATIONS.

X

Football: Veve, Mendoza lead Erie past Niwot

Veve’s 171 yards came on just 12 touches

  • Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer

    Erie High School's Mason Veve breaks loose for a long rushing touchdown during a CHSAA football game against Niwot on Friday in Longmont. More photos: BoCoPreps.com

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Niwot High School quarterback Ayden Bartko passes the ball under pressure by David Grassi during a CHSAA football game against Erie on Friday in Longmont. More photos: BoCoPreps.com

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Erie High School's Colby Arlington runs the ball after making a catch during a CHSAA football game against Niwot on Friday in Longmont. More photos: BoCoPreps.com

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Niwot High School's Jarrett Noterman runs the ball during a CHSAA football game against Erie on Friday in Longmont. More photos: BoCoPreps.com

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Erie High School's LaDorian Havard runs the ball after making a catch during a CHSAA football game against Niwot on Friday in Longmont. More photos: BoCoPreps.com

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Erie High School quarterback Gavin Mendoza throws a pass during a CHSAA football game against Niwot on Friday in Longmont. More photos: BoCoPreps.com

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Erie High School's Mason Veve, left, celebrates a touchdown with teammate Ryan McConnell during a CHSAA football game against Niwot on Friday in Longmont. More photos: BoCoPreps.com

of

Expand
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

LONGMONT — Erie’s Mason Veve followed up his career-best rushing day last week with another one Friday night at Everly-Montgomery Field.

The junior running back passed the century mark on the ground by his third carry of the game, finishing with an unofficial career-best of 171 rushing yards and three touchdowns as the Tigers beat Niwot 44-6.

Veve, who’d previously set his career-high last week with 168 yards on the ground in a 35-7 win over Northridge, credited his revamped offensive line.

Erie High School's Mason Veve breaks ...
Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer
Erie High School’s Mason Veve breaks loose for a long rushing touchdown during a CHSAA football game against Niwot on Friday in Longmont. More photos: BoCoPreps.com

“Two weeks ago, we decided to put John Pastore at guard, move Drake (Rhodes) to tackle, move Colby Arlington, who was center, to fullback, and Ryan McConnell to center,” Veve said. “So, last week we were kind of just starting to click and get that rolling. And this week, with a really hard week of practice, we obviously were clicking.”

Veve, averaging 7.2 yards per carry through the team’s first six games, continued his torrid production with an opening touch of 9 yards, followed by a 34-yard touchdown. On his third carry, he went untouched for 83 yards to give him his fifth 100-yard game of the year.

He finished the half with 166 yards on 10 carries.

“I thought it was a good team-blocking effort — O-line, fullback, wide receivers down the field, all did a good job,” Erie coach Chad Cooper said. “And once (Veve) gets to that second level, he’s hard to take down. He did a good job finishing those runs tonight.”

Erie (4-3, 2-0 3A North Valley League) went up 30-0 at half when a long pass from Gavin Mendoza laid into the arms of LaDorian Havard as he peeled down the sideline with 11 seconds left in the second quarter.

The senior quarterback later found Josh Bradford with a 31-yard score in the third and tossed a 52-yard TD to Grayson Schenbeck in the fourth, finishing with 170 yards in the air and three scores.

“He’s come a long way in the last few weeks as well,” Cooper said. “Gavin, and we can throw the ball, and then with Mason, we’re a tough offense to stop.”

The Tigers had little trouble from the outset against Niwot (3-4, 0-2), which started the year 3-1 before losing its third straight game in October.

Suffocating one way, overwhelming the other, Cooper’s team jumped out to a 16-0 lead in the opening 3:30, scoring nine points in the first 50 seconds with a safety and a quick Veve scamper.

The chaos began with a pair of penalties —  a foreshadow of the countless referee announcements to come — and the Cougars found themselves backed against their own goal line after consecutive holding calls. Their next play, a first-and-18 run, was stood up in the end zone by Erie’s harassing defensive line, and an ensuing short kick put Erie on the 43.

From there, Veve needed seven carries to net three touchdowns to put the Tigers up 23-0. A late pick from Ian Vera, followed by a roughing the passer call, then set up a 46-yard streak from Mendoza-to-Havard at the end of the half.

“We’re all starting to find our identity,” Veve said. “But we have a lot of work to do.”

Out of the break, Niwot recovered a fumble on the kickoff but turned the ball over on downs after four plays. It chipped into a 37-point deficit on its next drive with a 31-yard touchdown pass from Ayden Bartko to Matt Bitterman.

Erie, ranked 13th in 3A RPI coming into Friday, kept pace for the league lead with Fort Morgan. It will travel to Roosevelt next week, while Niwot will host Northridge.