MONUMENT - The Palmer Ridge High School football team is still in search of its first victory of the year after a tough 21-17 loss to previously winless Pueblo South on Sept. 22 at Dutch Clark Stadium in Pueblo. It was the Class 4A Foothills Conference opener for both teams.
The Bears (0-4, 0-1) led 17-14 late in fourth quarter. A short punt by Nick Majic with 3:58 remaining gave the Colts (1-3, 1-0) the ball in Palmer Ridge territory.
After a play and a penalty lost eight yards, Pueblo South quarterback Garrett Krage found Tyler Eve on a 39-yard pass that gave the Colts a first down at the Bears 16. One play later, Krage scampered into the end zone with just over three minutes remaining.
The Bears had their chances to win in the final minutes. But senior quarterback Jordan Brame was picked off to kill one drive. Brame threw four consecutive incompletions to end the game.
“We’re coming together as a team,” said Brame, who completed 8 of 18 passes for 82 yards. “This week showed a lot about out team character. We’re all brothers out here.”
The Bears battled back from a 14-3 halftime deficit to take a 17-14 lead. Brame (nine carries for 50 yards) scored on a 13-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Seldom used junior halfback Armando Vargas put Palmer Ridge on top with a 4-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter.
Bears senior tailback Winn Howard rushed for a team-high 94 yards on 17 carries.
“We have to continue to take care of the little things,” Howard said. “We have to learn from our mistakes and go from there.
“A win would get the ball rolling for us. It would be a snow ball effect. We could build on it.”
The Bears hope to get that elusive victory Friday at Widefield. The Gladiators dropped to 0-4 with a 47-35 loss to Pueblo West on Sept. 21. Widefield is allowing an average of 42 points per game, while scoring 19 per contest.
The Sanabria brothers (quarterback Mario and running back Eugene), along with running back DQ Baker, are the bulk of the team’s offense. Mario has passed for 727 yards. Eugene is second in rushing (147 yards) and receiving (10 catches for 130 yards). Baker leads the team in rushing (160) and receiving (12 for 211).
“We have to keep our heads up and go back to the drawing board and go on to the next game,” said Bears senior running back Evan Quinn. “We want to make the best of this season.
The Bears are a close-knit group. None are closer than Brame, Howard, Quinn, Majic and injured running back Brad Paffett.
The fivesome were in the same kindergarten class at Lewis-Palmer Elementary School. They began playing football together in fourth grade - for the Cowboys - as part of a Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation team.
“We’re all brothers out here,” Brame said. “Some of us have been playing together for a long time.”