The mistakes keep piling up. So do the opponents’ points. And so do the losses for Rocky Mountain High School’s football team.
The Lobos turned the ball over three times, dropped snaps on two punts and lost big for a second week in a row, falling 41-7 to Horizon on Thursday night in a Front Range League game at French Field. The clock ran from the 11:38 mark of the third quarter because of the state’s 40-point mercy rule.
A week earlier, Rocky fumbled 13 times, lost four, and fell 49-10 at city rival Fossil Ridge.
“They’ve been pretty tough because we’re a better team than we’ve shown,” Rocky senior running back Justin Schiller said. “Horizon, you have to give them credit. They played better than us and beat us. We just expected more from ourselves and didn’t get it.”
The first quarter nearly was scoreless until Rocky’s first big mistake. Punter Alex Kinney dropped the snap on a punt, giving the hawks the ball at the Lobos’ 17. Two plays later, and with 20 seconds to play in the first quarter, Horizon had a 6-0 lead.
The Hawks scored 28 points in the second quarter, the second of the four touchdowns a 55-yard interception return by Austin Prince for a 20-0 lead.
Prince a series later caught a 37-yard touchdown pass from Auston Stackhouse. That was the first play after a dropped snap on a punt, turning it over again on downs.
The last touchdown of the second quarter came six plays after Rocky fumbled the ball at its 27-yard line.
“It’s just a little bit demoralizing,” Schiller said. “We try not to get down, but when it happens so many times, some guys just can’t help it. We have to try to keep our spirits up and fight back, but it’s tough.”
The Lobos (1-6, 1-2 FRL) managed only seven first downs on offense and didn’t complete a pass.
They rushed 38 times for 135 yards. Rocky was playing with starting quarterback Tyler Stevens and starting receiver Jacob Haase out because of injuries.
Gabriel Gutierrez finally got Rocky on the scoreboard with a 48-yard touchdown run with 2:57 remaining.
“Mark (Brook, Rocky’s head coach) has a lot of injuries and has to deal with a lot of adversity right now,” Horizon coach Frank Ybarra said. “We didn’t play to the best of our abilities and I wasn’t pleased with the first quarter, but we were able to turn it on.”
The Hawks (5-2, 3-0 FRL) returned the opening kickoff the second half 78 yards and scored a play later for the 41-0 lead. Prince scored on a 15-yard run on a reverse.
Rocky’s next chance to get a win will come next Friday when it plays at Mountain Range.
“We have to stick together and move forward,” Schiller said. “We can’t dwell on it. We have to finish the season strong.”
Follow reporter Jeff Bersch at twitter.com/Coloradoan_JB