League rivals meet in playoff rematch

Monte Vista's Jacob Chavez (45) tracks Brandon Buhr on an end around during Centauri's 27-2 victory in La Jara on Oct. 6. Both teams will take the field looking for a semifinal berth, the last one being earned by Centauri when they went to the state Championship in 2014.(Courier photo by Stephen Jiron)

ALAMOSA — On October sixth, the Monte Vista Pirates went down to La Jara and faced off against the league leading Falcons. Centauri controlled a one-sided game that only saw the Pirates muster 2 points and zero offensive scoring. Since then Monte Vista has been on a tear, closing the season with three straight wins.

When the playoffs began Monte Vista was matched up with the favored Clear Creek. The Pirate's offense flexed for 39 points closing the game with a 4-point advantage over the sixth ranked Gold Diggers.

Since dispatching the Pirates Centauri has had similar success not allowing a single point for the remainder of the season with 51 and 48 point shut outs. Centauri opened the playoffs against Colorado Springs Christian and after a tied first half were buoyed by a 14 point second half to earn a 21-7 win.

Now the teams will face one another again only this time a couple things are different. One the game will be held within the confines of Harvey Sullivan field in Monte Vista. Monte Vista is 2-1 at home that lone loss coming to 2A Pagosa Springs, while Centauri is 3-0 on the road and defeated Pagosa Springs 36-17.

And also the Pirates have shown flashes of an offensive retooling.  Against Dolores the Pirates added a new facet when wide receiver Kaiden Wenta lined up under center. Wenta threw for 128 yards and two touchdowns. When Wenta's performance was added to Jacob Chavez’s continual ground production; Monte Vista was propelled to a 58-point drubbing of the Bears.

The following week Monte Vista quickly reverted to the run heavy offense they are familiar with grinding Clear Creek with Chavez for 176 yards and two touchdowns.

When Centauri has the ball look for heavy utilization of signal caller Nate Anderson, with 559 yards passing and 352 yards rushing he has proven he can attack a defense in multiple ways. Anderson likely going to Sam Anderson and Brandon Buhr who combine for 482 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns. On the ground touches will likely go to Taj Cornum who leads the Falcons with 643 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Anderson will be rushed by Monte Vista’s Antonio Duran who has gotten a team leading 3 sacks with Enrique Ortiz looking to clean things up on the back end with 2 interceptions.

When Monte Vista has the ball the majority of the touches will be going to Jacob Chavez, with him having earned 1,348 yards and 18 touchdowns.  The Pirates will spell Chavez with Tyler Vigil and Wenta who combine for 519 yards and 9 touchdowns on the ground. If the Pirates decide to go aerial Wenta will likely get the call since he has

garnered 157 yards and 2 touchdowns in just 12 attempts.  Wenta will be contending with Falcons Brian Shawcroft and Bennie Chacon who have combined for 15 sacks and Wenta will be throwing into a secondary containing Brandon Buhr who has gotten 5 interceptions.

Monte Vista welcomes Centauri for a “winner take all” rematch this Saturday Nov. 11 at 1 p.m.