WINDSOR — The Windsor High School football team’s defense is like sharks in the water.
The Wizards can smell blood. When prey is struggling, they’re quick to attack with destructive force.
One bite sends them into a frenzy.
No. 9 Windsor got that first bite early on Friday night and it led to a 44-0 rout over visiting Fort Collins.
The attack started on the first series. Fort Collins (2-8, 1-4 Northern Conference) went three-and-out. On the ensuing punt, Windsor linebacker and CSU commit Corte Tapia raced through the line, blocked the punt and returned it 15 yards for a touchdown.
Andy Evans had an interception on the next Fort Collins series, and that led to a Brad Peeples 10-yard touchdown run.
By halftime, Windsor (7-3, 4-1 Northern Conference) had held Fort Collins to 27 yards. The Wizards boasted a 30-0 lead at intermission on two TD runs from Peeples and one from Brandon Ramirez.
Ramirez and Keller Kretchmer added TD runs in the third to earn a running clock with the 40-point mercy rule.
“They definitely feed off energy,” Windsor coach Skylar Brower said. “Having those fast starts, big plays on defense really gets them excited. That’s good to see.”
The Wizards held Fort Collins under 100 yards of total offense for their first shutout of the season.
“When we turn it on, nothing can get in our way,” said Storm Fox, who had two sacks. “Pedal to the metal all the way to the finish.”
Windsor entered Friday with the No. 4 RPI score in Class 4A. The Wizards are unlikely to host a first-round playoff game as they start their title defense, though. The seven conference winners will host, plus an eighth wild card, which will likely be Broomfield.
Windsor will find out for sure when brackets are released on Sunday. Either way, the Wizards will be in the postseason with a shot to defend their 2015 4A championship.
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For Fort Collins, it was another frustrating night in a frustrating season. The Lambkins couldn’t get any offense going and never recovered from going down 14-0 in the first couple minutes.
After winning back-to-back Northern Conference titles, Fort Collins never found rhythm or consistency this season.
With a bevy of young, inexperienced players receiving lots of playing time, it was a season of lessons learned the hard way through losses.
“That’s the hard part of football. Sometimes you have to go through times like this. It sucks for everybody,” Fort Collins coach Eric Rice said. “When you have some inexperienced guys out there, you know you’re going to take some lumps. We’re going to continue to try and get better in the offseason.”
Follow sports reporter Kevin Lytle at twitter.com/Kevin_Lytle and at facebook.com/KevinSLytle.
NO. 9 WINDSOR 44, FORT COLLINS 0
Fort Collins 0 0 0 0 —
Windsor 20 10 14 0 — 44
WIND — Corte Tapia 15 punt block return (Julia Broghammer kick), 11:08.
WIND — Brad Peeples 10 run (kick blocked), 6:35.
WIND — Peeples 8 run (Broghammer kick), 4:27.
WIND — Brandon Ramirez 2 run (Broghammer kick), 7:34.
WIND — Broghammer 25 kick, 00:00.
WIND — Ramirez 6 run (Broghammer kick), 10:34.
WIND — Keller Kretchmer 15 run (Broghammer kick), 5:08.