The gutsier the call, the bigger the possible reward for success. But that also means failure comes at a huge price.
Fort Collins made the gutsiest of calls late in Thursday’s game against crosstown rival Fossil Ridge. Up one late in the fourth quarter the Lambkins had fourth down at their own 10. So what was the play call?
“I’m going to tell you, I don’t know,” said a laughing Fort Collins coach Eric Rice after the game. “I wasn’t watching because I was getting our defense ready.”
Turns out it wasn’t Rice making the call for a fake punt. It was the punter, Chase Thurgood.
“They (the coaches) just tell me to look if the backers are coming,” Thurgood said.
And they were. Fossil coach Steve Vecchio was going for the block, knowing that if he got it, it would likely win the game. A heads-up play from Thurgood took advantage.
“I looked at Caleb (Seeton) and kind of gave him a nod; he saw it,” Thurgood said. “I took a couple of steps from our punt formation and it just worked out.”
Thurgood fired a bullet to Seeton, the quarterback, who caught it and ran for a 44-yard gain. The Lambkins then ran a lot of clock and got into the SaberCats’ (0-5, 0-1 Front Range) red zone and kicked a field goal to help ice the game in the last minute for the 16-12 victory.
It was fitting that Thurgood and Seeton would combine for the biggest play of the game for Fort Collins (2-3, 1-0). In addition to the big pass, Thurgood also had two interceptions on the day. And Seeton was a terror all game long, rushing for 221 yards on 33 carries, rarely going down on first contact.
“Caleb, he has been super tough for us the last two weeks and to see him running tough the way he does, I think it’s inspiring to all the guys on our team,” Rice said.
Fossil Ridge battled and battled. The SaberCats even took a 9-7 lead in the third quarter when a fumbled punt turned into a safety. And the defense was able to keep Fort Collins out of the end zone on numerous occasions and keep the game close.
“Everything we’ve asked the kids to do they’ve brought an exceptional attitude and effort toward it,” Vecchio said. “My heart is just breaking because this team in that locker room right there, 0-5 does not represent those kids. It does not represent this coaching staff or this program, but that’s where we are.”
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