Pirates come alive in second half, down Lions

Photo by Kem Hamrick Monte Vista High School's Khegan Gunter (5) bursts through the line for a big gain in Friday's game against Colorado Springs Christian at Harvey Sullivan Field. Gunter ran for 193 yards and scored four touchdowns as the Pirates defeated the Lions 64-33.

MONTE VISTA — It was a case of both teams on the outside looking into the Class 1A football rankings as Monte Vista High School hosted the Colorado Springs Christian School Friday at Harvey Sullivan Field.

The game lived up to the hype, at least in the first half. The Pirates had a slim 20-19 lead at the half, but they exploded for 44 second-half points enroute to a 64-33 victory over the Lions.

“We felt like our run game would eventually run them down,” said Monte Vista coach Manny Wasinger. “They’re so explosive offensively. They’re a finesse team and we’re a ground and pound team. We run the ball and play action and they didn’t have an answer for that tonight. I think that our offensive line wore them down in the third quarter. Our backs ran hard, and our defense got some critical stops.”

Monte Vista had the ball first and it got on the scoreboard first as Khegan Gunter had a 5-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion attempt was no good.

The Lions countered quickly as Jace Velasquez threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Casey Orawiec. Orawiece also kicked the extra point and CSCS led 7-6.

It didn’t take long for the Pirates to regain the lead as Kevin Cisneros had a 1-yard touchdown plunge. D’Angelo Archuleta made the two-point conversion for a 14-7 lead.

The Lions got another touchdown early in the second quarter as Velasquez threw a 27-yard scoring strike to Taylor McLeod. Orawiec missed the extra point and Monte Vista stayed in front at 14-13.

Gunter scored his second touchdown of the game, this time on a 9-yard run. However, the two-point play was unsuccessful.

CSCS scored again on its next possession as Velasquez scored on a 1-yard quarterback run. The point after attempt was partially blocked and the Pirates led 20-19.

Monte Vista made one last attempt to score before halftime, but it came up short as time expired.

The Lions scored on the opening possession of the third quarter as Velasquez and McLeod hooked up again, this time on a 28-yard pass. Velasquez ran in the two-point conversion and CSCS led 27-20.

Once again, the Pirates had an answer as Archuleta scored on a 1-yard run. Chavez scored on the two-point play for a 28-27 Monte Vista lead.

After forcing the Lions to turn the ball over on downs, Gunter scored for the third time as he broke through the line for a 57-yard touchdown run. Chavez threw to Gunter on the two-point conversion to extend the lead to 36-27.

CSCS fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Pirates recovered. Cisneros scored on a 2-yard run, but the two-point conversion was no good.

The Lions drew to within 42-33 as Velasquez tossed a 57-yard touchdown pass to Orawiec.

Gunter then scored his fourth touchdown of the game, this time on a 47-yard run. Cisneros scored the two-point play to give Monte Vista a 50-33 advantage.

Jack Noonan set up the next Monte Vista score with an interception. Archuleta capped off the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run and Chavez threw to Gunter for the two-point conversion.

Gunter then set up the next touchdown with an interception. Cisneros scored on a 3-yard run to wrap up the scoring.

Monte Vista had 550 yards of total offense with 361 coming on the ground. Gunter led all rushers with 193 yards on 18 carries, and Archuleta was next with 141 yards on 24 carries.

Chavez was very accurate in the passing game as he completed 11 of 14 passes for 189 yards. Gunter was the leading receiver with six catches for 91 yards.

Defensively, the Pirates allowed 297 total yards – 51 rushing and 246 passing.

Monte Vista (2-0) will travel to 10th-ranked Gunnison on Friday, Sept. 9. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

“They’re a good football team and they won last week against Aspen, a 2A team,” Wasinger said. “We’ll get a chance to get the game film tomorrow and we’ll have a game plan for the kids on Monday, and we’ll see what happens.”

Monte Vista 64, Colorado Springs Christian 33

CSCS                7          12        14        0 – 33

Monte Vista    14        6          22        22 – 64

First quarter

MV – Gunter 5 run (run failed), 7:42

CSCS – Orawiec 40 pass from Velasquez (Orawiec kick), 4:41

MV – Cisneros 1 run (Archuleta run), 0:50

Second quarter

CSCS – McLeod 27 pass from Velasquez (kick failed), 11:19

MV – Gunter 9 run (run failed), 7:01

CSCS – Velasquez 1 run (kick failed), 2:50

Third quarter

CSCS – McLeod 28 pass from Velasquez (Velasquez run), 9:12

MV – Archuleta 1 run (Chavez run), 6:24

MV – Gunter 57 run (Gunter pass from Chavez), 4:36

MV – Cisneros 2 run (run failed), 1:57

CSCS – Orawiece 57 pass from Velasquez (run failed), 0:42

Fourth quarter

MV – Gunter 47 run (Cisneros run), 11:51

MV – Archuleta 2 run (Gunter pass from Chavez), 6:40

MV – Cisneros 3 run (run failed), 1:46