Roberts car­ries of­fense, de­fense pitches shutout

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Mario Sanelli

AR­VADA» Ral­ston Val­ley made quick work of Chero­kee Trail with on­slaughts of ground and pound and a re­sound­ing de­fen­sive ef­fort.

Brad Roberts’ con­tin­u­ous brute phys­i­cal­ity pun­ished white jer­seys in his path and the se­nior cap­tain was re­warded with three touch­downs as No. 6 Ral­ston Val­ley throt­tled No. 11 Chero­kee Trail 52-0 Thurs­day night in the sec­ond round of the Class 5A state play­offs.

“We ex­e­cuted well,” Roberts said. “Our de­fense had great plays, sev­eral turnovers — Thomas Har­ries with a few picks and Ben Sch­nei­der with some big hits. Our of­fense came out ready to go, fast tempo, es­pe­cially in the third quar­ter when we started groun­dand-pound­ing.”

Ben Takata and Chase Wil­son un­der­scored Roberts’ mar­quee per­for­mance in the Mus­tangs’ first game of the post­sea­son af­ter a first-round bye.

Takata made marks on both sides of the ball. His rush­ing touch­down just be­fore half­time put the Mus­tangs up 24-0. His in­ter­cep­tion sparked Ral­ston Val­ley’s first scor­ing drive.

Chero­kee Trail drove to Ral­ston Val­ley’s 25-yard line on the game’s open­ing pos­ses­sion but Takata in­ter­cepted sopho­more quar­ter­back Jay­den LaV­i­gne on a ball forced into triple cov­er­age. Takata took the pick from the 10yard line to the Ral­ston Val­ley 43. Four plays later, Roberts was in the end zone from 3 yards out for a 7-0 lead mid­way through the first quar­ter. Wil­son set the ta­ble for that first score with a 30-yard run and capped the open­ing drive of the sec­ond half with a rush­ing touch­down for a 31-0 ad­van­tage.

Roberts’ most bar­baric score, his sec­ond, came halfway through the sec­ond quar­ter when he car­ried a trio of Cougars the fi­nal few yards to the goal line.

“I knew our guys pre­pared well but I was not ex­pect­ing 52-0,” Ral­ston Val­ley coach Matt Loyd said. “De­fen­sively we played well, gave us some good field po­si­tion and the of­fense took ad­van­tage of it.”

Ral­ston Val­ley faces the win­ner of No. 3 Cherry Creek and No. 14 Cas­tle View, which play Fri­day at 7 p.m. at the Stut­ler Bowl.

“To be hon­est I have not seen ei­ther one of them (to this point),” Loyd said of his team’s next op­po­nent. “We’ll get a chance to see them, see what they got on film. We’ve played Cherry Creek the past two years so we kind of know where they’re at.”

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