Running game fuels Coal Ridge past Roaring Fork, 39-16, in Rams’ opener

Coal Ridge senior quarterback Ryder Powell takes the ball upfield against Roaring Fork on Friday at home.
Ray K. Erku/Glenwood Springs Post Independent

Ninety yards is a long way to run if you have to evade a host of defenders thirsty to tackle you. Ask Coal Ridge senior quarterback Ryder Powell. He beat those odds Friday night.

Hosting Class 1A Roaring Fork, he took a fourth-quarter snap deep in his own zone and weaved his way through the Rams’ defensive line and, finally, past their secondary. He then sprung free for a 90-yard touchdown. The crowd went wild. The Titans eventually went on to win, 39-16.

“The boy just gets it,” Coal Ridge head coach Crockett Williams said of Powell. “He’s a natural runner. I think he believes he’s the best athlete on the field, and I think he is most of the time.”

The Titans were poised to get in the win column after suffering a 17-6 non-league loss to Steamboat Springs last week. Powell received the memo. He’d nab three rushing touchdowns and also toss a touchdown to junior Titans receiver Dominic Lozalde to end the second quarter.

“With another (loss) on the board, everybody just thinks it’s the same old stuff,” Williams said. “But, everybody in the locker room understands that things have been changing here for quite a while, and it’s just finally starting to show.”

Following a scoreless first quarter that, at one point, saw three fumbles in three minutes, Titans sophomore running back Ben Simons scored the game’s first touchdown on a 22-yard run at 10:13 in the second quarter. 

Titans senior defensive tackle Angelo Perea later pierced through the Rams’ offensive line and picked up a backfield tackle on Roaring Fork junior running back Zane Garcia. 

The play led to a significant loss. The next play, however, Roaring Fork junior quarterback Max Bollock successfully completed a long ball to senior Oscar Barraza — only, the play was called back due to a personal foul.

This led to Powell scoring two rushing touchdowns — plus the toss to Lozalde — before going into halftime up 27-0. According to Rams Head Coach Eric Bollock, they weren’t going to take this score lying down.

“They got a tongue lashing at halftime, for sure,” Coach Bollock said. “We told them we didn’t have a lot to say as coaches other than you better figure it out — and, they did.”

Roaring Fork junior quarterback Max Bollock stiff arms a Titans defender during a Friday game at Coal Ridge.
Ray K. Erku/Glenwood Springs Post Independent

Completing a hard-fought drive downfield, Max Bollock scored on a five-yard run at 4:20 in the fourth quarter. He also completed a pass to senior tight end Brady Samuelson for a successful two-point conversion.

Roaring Fork’s offensive push continued when Bollock rushed for his second touchdown less than 2 minutes later.

“I would have never thought that coach Bollock would have quit in the fourth quarter,” Williams said. “Kudos to them. That quarterback is a heck of a kid and he’s just full of heart.”

But, Coal Ridge sophomore Regan Powell put things to bed when he rushed for the game’s last touchdown with 17 seconds left to play.

Coach Bollock said he was proud of his team’s final push.

“Those last two drives were engineered by Max,” he said. “He was calling it and thinks that does a lot for a team. He knows the game well enough to do it, and I think it bonds them.” 

The win puts Coal Ridge at a 1-1 record in the 2A League 6. The Rams drop to 0-1 in 1A League 1.

The Rams host Basalt (2-0) at 7 p.m. Sept. 9 while Coal Ridge hosts Olathe (0-2) at 7 p.m. Sept. 8.

“We’ll just continue to hammer the boys down and let them celebrate tonight,” Williams said. “Monday morning — on the holiday — we’re watching film for next week.”