Opening his junior season with a performance that will not soon be forgotten, Mancos High School junior Chase Moore scored six touchdowns in the first half as the Bluejays rolled to a 52-6 home victory over Hayden High School on Nov. 9.
The performance by the Mancos running back served as an impressive follow-up to an impressive sophomore season during which he rushed for 1,900 yards and scored 37 total touchdowns.
“I was just excited,” Moore said. “We haven’t played football in over a year. We did what we did best, and we played our hardest. I just followed my blocks, and good things happened.”
While Moore’s heroics hogged the headlines for the Bluejays on opening night, the junior’s scoring outburst might not have been possible absent a strong performance by his team’s defense, which battered Hayden ball carriers throughout the night.
Leading the defensive charge was senior linebacker Colt Fury, who laid several crushing hits before opposing ball carriers began to race for the sidelines in hopes of avoiding contact with the powerful Mancos linebacker.
“Football is all about physicality,” Fury said. “I think we’re the hardest-hitting team in 8-man football right now.”
Other Mancos players who delivered standout performances included sophomore quarterback Ayden Matthews, who threw one touchdown pass and delivered numerous accurate throws down field in his first high school start.
Senior Christian Cova brought his trademark intensity to the field for four quarters while several Mancos underclassmen stepped up and played like seasoned veterans throughout the fourth quarter, which began and ended with Bluejays starters on the sidelines.
“Our younger players have been in the program since third grade,” Moore said. “They know what their role is, and they are filling it. It’s just turning really positive.”
After stopping Hayden’s offense on the opening offensive possession of the contest, the Bluejays drew first blood when Moore gathered in a punt while on the run and raced down the left side for an 83-yard touchdown.
The junior followed up with a 1-yard rushing touchdown that put Mancos ahead 14-0 with 6:06 left in the first quarter and scored his third touchdown of the game on a 22-yard run around the right side to give Mancos a 22-6 lead with 11:52 left in the first half.
The Bluejays lone passing touchdown of the contest came midway through the second quarter when Matthews completed a screen pass to Moore on a third-down-and-long play and the junior raced 31 yards for a score.
Keying the touchdown was a massive block by Fury that left a stunned Hayden defender on his back and left Mancos fans in awe of the sheer force of the collision.
“I just kind of went out there and hit him,” Fury said, when asked about the play. “It was what it was.”
After Moore dragged four Hayden defenders into the end zone to conclude an 11-yard touchdown run that put his team ahead 46-6 with 4:03 left in the first half, Colorado’s 40-point mercy rule kicked into effect and the clock began to run.
The Bluejays scoring play of the contest came late in the third quarter when freshman running back Cole Dainty-Guilfoyle welcomed his team’s backups to the field and capped off his team’s scoring by racing around the right side for a 50-yard touchdown run.
Now 1-0 on the year, Mancos will return to practice next week to prepare for a tough road matchup against a senior-heavy Norwood High School football team capable of throwing the ball down the field.
“We’re just trying to get more in shape and more mesh plays so we can run the ball a little bit better,” said Fury, when asked about the upcoming matchup. “We’re all excited to play Norwood.”