The alarm did the trick.
The Fossil Ridge High School football team heeded the warning handed out last week when the SaberCats sleep-walked into a big hole and their first loss of the season against Bear Creek.
Defeats aren’t fun, but that one did wonders for Fossil Ridge.
It shook them up and refocused them, and led to a dominant 27-14 romp over previously unbeaten Lakewood on Thursday night at French Field.
“We definitely need that as a team to wake us up,” senior linebacker Nick Edridge said. “Coming out and being able to bounce back like that proves how tough our team is. Our team really needed it. From here our team just has to go up.”
PREVIOUSLY: Fossil Ridge wins overtime thriller over Poudre
The final score was closer than the game ever was. Fossil Ridge (4-1) jumped all over Lakewood (4-1) from the start.
The first Lakewood drive was a quick three-and-out, with the defense jumping into the backfield and shutting every play down. The ensuing punt attempt never got off, as a bad snap allowed Casey Knutsen to pounce on the punter.
That led to a Fossil Ridge field goal. Next drive, same thing: Fossil Ridge’s defense completely disrupted and disoriented an offense that averaged 46 points per game entering Thursday.
Lakewood scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to make the score look closer, but it was a show from Fossil Ridge’s defense, with Brady Russell, Dylan Johnston and crew a constant backfield disruption.
“That’s our defense doing what we know it can do, putting a whole game together, which I don’t believe we’ve been able to do this season,” Edridge said.
The offense in turn complemented the defense, with big plays at key times. Griffin Roberts found Sean Bowerfind for an 11-yard TD in the first quarter.
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In the second quarter, facing 3rd and 22, Roberts found Donovan Murphree streaking down the sideline for a 72-yard touchdown.
“It’s good. The O-line makes it happen, he just passes it and I catch it,” said Murphree with a shrug, as if it’s no big deal that he nearly had 200 receiving yards.
Roberts added a short touchdown run and Evan Bergerson hit a 42-yard field goal as the SaberCats rolled into the half up 27-0 and the game was all but over.
After sweeping its three Fort Collins opponents to start the season, Fossil Ridge may have gained a sense of overconfidence. The loss last week to Bear Creek knocked that notion away, and now the SaberCats are filled with confidence entering conference play and a top-10 matchup at Cherry Creek next week.
Follow sports reporter Kevin Lytle at twitter.com/Kevin_Lytle and at facebook.com/KevinSLytle.
FOSSIL RIDGE 27, LAKEWOOD 14
Lakewood 0 0 0 14 — 14
Fossil Ridge 10 17 0 0 — 27
FRHS — Evan Bergerson kick, 9:43.
FRHS — Sean Bowerfind 11 catch from Griffin Roberts (Bergerson kick), 4:58.
FRHS — Donovan Murphree 72 catch from Roberts (Bergerson kick), 11:40.
FRHS — Roberts 1 run (Bergerson kick), 3:01.
FRHS — Bergerson 42 kick, 00:00.
LAKE — Jeff Reed 23 catch from Pierce Holley (Austin Geske kick), 11:23.
LAKE – Reed 10 catch from Holley (Geske kick), 2:31.