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Mancos, Dove Creek post wins over Utah opponents

Bluejays and Bulldogs primed for league play

In their final tuneup before Mountain League play begins, both Mancos and Dove Creek crossed the border into the Beehive State to take on a pair of programs that have dropped from 11-man to eight-man football in 2022.

The Bluejays and Bulldogs combined to outscore their opposition 114-28, as Mancos dispatched Whitehorse 62-6 and Dove Creek topped border rival Monticello 52-22.

Mancos rebounded from a 50-6 loss to state No. 1 Haxtun from the previous week by scoring nearly 50 points in the opening quarter. The Bluejays (4-1) found the end zone six times in the first quarter, including four scores from junior Kail Wayman that put the visitors in firm control.

Classmates Cole Dainty-Guilfoyle and Levi Martin also joined Wayman with first-quarter scores, while Jacob Martin and Andrew Jaime scored the Bluejays final two TDs against the Raiders.

The victory prepares Mancos for Sargent in their eight-man Mountain League opener, and also a return to Bluejay Field for the first time in four weeks. As of Sept. 26, Mancos was ranked No. 4 in the latest CHSAA coaches poll, joining league members Sanford (No. 10) and Dove Creek (No. 2) in the most recent rankings.

Speaking of the Bulldogs, Dove Creek pulled away from an opponent in the second half for a third consecutive week. After playing through tight first halves against Melrose (NM), Hayden, and most recently against Monticello, the Bulldogs made locker room adjustments in each of the three contests to pull away in all three outings to keep their record perfect (5-0).

A week after moving up to the second-ranked team in the state, Dove Creek became the first team in the classification to pick up a fifth win, after the Buckaroos kept it close through the opening two quarters.

Senior Kade Hankins had been averaging more than 200 yards per game on the ground, and was a menace again as the Buckaroos couldn’t contain the vaunted Bulldog rushing attack.

The defense, meanwhile, looks to continue their intense pressure on the opposition, having collected strong performances through the halfway point.

Dove Creek gets set for a colossal two-week stretch, as the Bulldogs face Sanford for Homecoming on Friday, Sept. 30, before making a trip to Mancos for an Oct. 7 clash. Their meeting with the Bluejays will be available on local radio 98.7 FM KRTZ and online at krtzradio.com beginning at 6:30 p.m. with kickoff slated for 7 p.m.