The combination of a hurry-up offense and tough defense spelled a homecoming win for Fort Lupton High School Sept. 9.
The Bluedevils beat Weld Central 45-6. The Bluedevils improved to 2-1, while Weld Central dropped to 0-3.
"I saw growth and the ability to finish a game," said FLHS coach George Ramirez. "We've had leads before where we took a step back and kind of fluttered a little bit. They grew.
No game stats were available for the Rebels. FLHS quarterback Will Alvarado completed 16 of 28 passes for 196 yards and a pair of touchdowns. One went to Zach Crowe for 12 yards, and one went to Anthony Blan-Mendenhall and covered 52 yards.
Alvarado also added a rushing touchdown and gained 27 yards on six carries. Dimitri Alarcon gained a team-high 54 yards rushing and scored a touchdown. Kaidyn Taylor's one carry was good for 28 yards.
Danny Rodriguez caught four passes for 37 yards. Blan-Mendenhall, a junior, finished with a team-high six receptions for 110 yards.
"It was the whole team. We executed, just like we did in practice all week," Blan-Mendenhall said. "Our defense understood what we were doing. We just marched down with offense, so it was a team effort.”
FLHS overhauled its coaching staff this season. Six of the eight members are graduates and football alumni of Fort Lupton High School.
"I have to give credit to these coaches," Ramirez said. "These kids have been buying into our system, and it's been fun to see. I've seen this since game 1. They are getting better week by week. It's awesome."
The progress isn't surprising to Ramirez.
"When I got hired on, I knew these kids were very special. And it shows," he said. "I've got a great group of kids, and these coaches are helping me out. They know what it takes to belong to this community. The kids are responding to the coaching, and hats off to them."
It’s not a surprise to Blan-Mendenhall, either
“It’s new playbook. We’ve grown up with each other, so the chemistry is there,” he said. “We’re doing good. We just have to work with it. We’re tired of the old Fort Lupton. We want to change it.”
FLHS heads to rival Valley High School at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16.
“I don’t know yet what’s going to happen,” Blan-Mendenhall said. “We’re going to battle it out and see what happens.”
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