ALAMOSA — This Friday the Del Norte Tigers will see how far they’ve come when they face what the upper echelon of what the A-8 Southwest league has to offer in Sargent.
The Tigers are one year removed from a forgettable season where they went 0-9 and suffered 5 shut-outs. This year the Tigers are taking steps in the right direction with wins over Dove Creek (2-4) and Sangre de Cristo (1-5) as well as giving Mancos (5-1) a challenge only losing by one possession 12-20.
Sargent will be a litmus test since the Farmers are a perennial post-season contender. Despite starting off slow with losses to Hoehne, Fowler and Caliche (ranked four, seven and ten respectively) they have ripped off 3 in a row and are currently ranked number nine in the state. As if Del Norte didn’t already have their work cut out for them the stakes will be raised on the rivalry game since this Friday is Sargent’s homecoming.
When Sargent has the ball Ryan Davis is the main signal caller and is completing 42 percent of his passes for 550 yards and 6 touchdowns. Davis’ main target is Eddie Gonzalez who has gone 8 for 218 yards and 4 touchdowns. Averaging better than 27 yards per catch Gonzalez is a big play threat whenever he’s targeted. On the ground the Farmers main rusher is Trevor Milne who has racked up 495 yards and 8 touchdowns. With 46 carries Milne is currently averaging a first down per run at 10.8 yards per carry.
When the Tigers have the ball they are a balanced offense that excels at the pass. Dropping back on 50.8 percent of snaps the Tigers have gained 1,071 of their 1,266 yards through the air, junior passer Keegan Medina accounting for 97 percent of that. Medina averages more than 173 yards per game and has gotten Del Norte into the end zone 13 times, 11 with his arm. Medina’s favorite targets are junior Izeah Peterson and senior Carlos Parra who have both caught at least 20 passes and over 450 yards and combine for 10 touchdowns. Del Norte sends most of the carries to Dillan Salter who has gotten 152 yards and 1 touchdown. Defensively both teams have had similar success Sargent getting 7 sacks and 9 takeaways and Del Norte getting 6 sacks with 11 takeaways.
The Tigers and Farmers meet this Friday at Sargent High School Oct. 13 at 7 p.m.