ALAMOSA — A win for Sargent this weekend could go a long way.
The Farmers carried the momentum from a big win on the gridiron over Fowler into their game against Springfield to make it two in a row. Against Mancos, currently ranked third by RPI, things came unglued. The Farmers wound up behind in the turnover battle with a -5 turnover difference falling to the Blue Jays 38-20. This last week was bittersweet. While Sargent added a blowout win over Dolores Huerta to their record they also watched the win over Fowler turn into a forfeit loss.
The .500 record did push Sargent to the 21st spot in the RPI rankings but what it won’t do is deter the Farmers. Currently Frank Torrez is operating the offense from under center. Through the air Torrez boasts a 62 percent completion percentage hitting 31 receivers for 536 yards and 4 touchdowns. On the ground the Sargent senior is gaining 7.7 yards per carry with four touchdowns.
The main rushing threat for the Farmers is fellow senior Jacob Deacon. At 6’1” 180 lbs Deacon is a load and runs like it, leading the Farmers with 372 yards and 4 touchdowns of his own. Eddie “Money” Gonzalez is Torrez’s favorite recieving target with 207 yards and 2 touchdowns.
This weekend the Farmers will be facing seventh ranked league rival Norwood (3-2). Norwood just fell to fellow Mountain Leaguer Sanford (4-0-0) on Saturday. But that doesn’t mean that the Farmers can look past the Mavericks.
Norwood’s only two losses have come to top five teams — Sanford and Rangley. In the winning column Norwood has beaten teams like Dove Creek and Plateau Valley, both currently ranked above the Farmers by RPI.
Offensively the Mavericks are primarily a rushing team, as is pretty typical with 8-Man football. Norwood runs it twice as often as they pass. Norwood seems to run the ball by committee with seniors Will Gabriel and Jace Sinks grinding defenses down until they can get a home run with senior Austin Overholt. Gabriel and Sinks are nothing to sneeze at both averaging more than 7 yards per carry and combining for seven touchdowns. But Overholt has a whopping 18.9 yard carry average on just 10 carries, and while he doesn’t figure to be a huge part of the run game he is likely someone who’s presence needs to be accounted for.
In the passing game Norwood’s leading rusher Gabriel does see some drop back snaps but the throwing duties go to Tyler Wytulka. Wytulka struggles with accuracy and tosses at a 36 percent clip and has thrown three touchdowns to five interceptions.
However what everyone does well from under center is throw the ball to Overholt. Of 368 receiving yards 200 belong to Overholt. What’s more the Norwood senior was able to collect that on 14 receptions.
Both Overholt and Gabriel present unique threats. Gabriel owns the team lead in total yards with 745. Overholt displays a danger through versatility. Both boys share the team lead in scoring with 7 touchdowns each. On Defense the Mavericks have shown an opportunistic nature collecting 9 takeaways in the last five games.
The Farmers will be battling to get back into playoff position. The first step towards that goal begins Friday at Norwood at 6 p.m.