While the Mancos High School football team’s offense ranks as one of the most lethal in the state, the Bluejays’ defense showed that it can be equally as effective during a 52-6 home win over Sargent on Saturday.
Among the many key plays for the Mancos defense was an interception by Luika Cova early in the first quarter that came after the junior lineman deflected a pass by Sargent quarterback Burke Temple high into the air before adjusting his body to make an athletic catch.
The play, which drew loud cheers from the ruckus home crowd and huge smiles from the Mancos coaching staff, sent a clear message early in the contest that the Bluejays had come to play.
“I was just watching the ball and watching the quarterback to see what he was doing,” Cova said. “I just read his eyes and made the play.
Although the junior’s interception was arguably the most impressive play of the day, a quarterback sack that resulted in a safety by senior Lot Martin and a blocked punt and an interception by freshman Kail Wayam also played a big role in the Bluejays’ win.
“It was a good effort for all of us,” said Wayman, who also came through with several key tackles. “Everyone (on our defense) did what they needed to, and that’s why we were successful today.”
While the Mancos defense set the tone for the team’s lopsided win, the Bluejays offense also came through with numerous big plays thanks in large part to running back Chase Moore, who scored a game-high six touchdowns.
Among the star junior’s impressive scores was a 30-yard touchdown run around the left side with 10:02 left in the first quarter to give the Bluejays a 6-0 lead. On his team’s second possession, Moore raced through a hole off left tackle and scored from 59 yards out to make the score 12-0.
“I think today was another day at the office, honestly,” said Moore, who also had touchdown runs of 28 yards, 5 yards and 2 yards, and returned a kickoff for a touchdown. “We just came out here fired up to do what we do.”
Joining Moore as a multiple touchdown scorer for Mancos was Kruiz Wagoner, who caught touchdown passes of 30 yards and 26 yards from sophomore quarterback Ayden Mathews.
Wagoner’s second touchdown catch of the game was especially impressive as the junior receiver reeled in a deflected pass, pulled his leg free of a would-be tackler and rumbled into the end zone to put his team ahead 46-0 midway through the third quarter.
The impressive score came after Mancos carried a 40-0 lead into halftime. After Temple plunged into the end zone from 1 yard out midway through the fourth quarter to give Sargent its only score, Moore scored the final touchdown of the contest on a long kickoff return with 4:00 left in the game.
“We have a lot of confidence, but we’re going to stay humble because every (opponent) has things that they do well,” Wayman said. “We’re going to be proud, but we’re always going to be humble.”
Although the Thunderbirds will enter Friday’s contest with an 0-3 record, Bluejays players emphasized that they will not overlook their San Louis Valley opponents.
“We’re going to work hard all week like we usually do,” Moore said. “We’re not going to overlook (Sangre de Cristo). “We’re going to play hard like we always do and play for each other.”