A near-packed house enjoyed an absolutely beautiful evening for football last Friday. The Hotchkiss Bulldogs were bidding for a second straight win in the 2018 football season against the visiting Coal Ridge Titans.
Coal Ridge put the first points on the scoreboard with 6:06 left in the first period after a 10-play drive covering 64 yards culminated on a four-yard run by senior Jan Hernandez. Oscar Salazar booted the extra point to send the Titans in the lead, 7-0.
The Titans didn't get to bask in the light of that lead for long as Hotchkiss' Jace Peebles took the ensuing kickoff at the Bulldogs' seven-yard line and scooted down the right sideline for 93 yards and paydirt with 5:52 left in the opening quarter. Senior Kaiya Firor kicked the extra point to tie the game at 7-7.
In essence, that touchdown run was the biggest highlight of the evening for Hotchkiss as Coal Ridge went on to score 38 unanswered points to post a 45-7 non-conference victory.
Coal Ridge scored two more times in the second quarter on runs of 15 yards by Moises Contreras and a six-yard pass from Salazar to Adrian Garcia for a 21-7 lead at halftime after Salazar's extra-point kicks.
The Bulldogs held Coal Ridge to a single score in the third quarter but gave up 17 points in the fourth frame on two touchdowns and a 28-yard field goal from Salazar to make the final tally, 45-7.
Hotchkiss head coach Curtis Hintz was disappointed with the loss but accepted the fact his team is so young and is learning everyday.
"The experience was with Coal Ridge. I'm proud of the kids and how they played. We shot ourselves in the foot to start the second half with two turnovers and gave them momentum. We're young. I know the kids will come back and respond to make the changes that need to be made. Hats off to Coal Ridge for having a good game plan and executing well for the win."