Yuma football gets deserved rest after 4-0 start

Four, zero and five are the Yuma Football Team’s lucky numbers during its bye week.

Yuma is 4-0 for the first time since the 2009 championship season, closing out its non-conference slate last Friday with a 10-7 home win over Brush.
The team formerly known as the Indians has moved up two spots to No. 5 in this week’s Class 1A Top 10 (CHSAANow.com poll), and also moved up to No. 5 in the 1A Rating Percentage Index.
“It’s fun to see that,” head coach Kelly Seward said. “You know, five years ago this is what you envisioned, but you wonder if you’re going to get there…This has been building, we just need to stay the course.”
Yuma has this week off before embarking upon the brutal run through the North Central Conference, opening at home September 30 against No. 4 Wiggins (No. 8 in the RPI).
Actually, it is no longer called the North Central Conference as all leagues in all classifications now go by a number. The former NCC is now known as 1A League 4. (The Pioneer must have missed the memo on that change.)
Five of League 4’s six teams are on their bye this week before the start of conference play. The lone exception is top-ranked Limon, which took its bye last week and closes out non-league play Friday at No. 6 Buena Vista.
“I understand what’s ahead of us the next five weeks,” Seward said. “It could be really fun, or it could be a humdinger. You know, I wouldn’t be surprised if all the teams end up with at least one loss in the league.”
League 4 went 5-0 last weekend. Besides Yuma’s win against Brush, second-ranked Wray rolled Ellicott 48-0, Wiggins blew past 2A Platte Valley 44-13, Holyoke won 32-19 at Hershey, Nebraska, and Burlington won 21-0 at 2A Lamar.
Wray and Wiggins both went 3-1 in non-league games, and Holyoke and Burlington both went 2-2.
Last Friday was the first time since 2007 that Yuma and Brush played each other in a varsity football game. (Yuma moved to 1A beginning in the 2008 season.)
The win was Yuma’s first over the Beetdiggers since 2001.
It definitely did not come easy as defenses dominated from start to finish.

Alex Lozano’s 35-yard field goal proved to be the difference.
Another key is Yuma once again won the turnover battle 3-0. The defense came up with two interceptions and a fumble recovery, while Yuma did not have a turnover.
“That was the difference in the game,” Seward said. “It is something you need to try to win every week.”
Neither team completed a pass, Brush attempting seven and Yuma two.
Brush actually held a slight edge in rushing yards, finishing with 178 on 41 carries, while Yuma had 162 on 41 carries. Penalties and time of possession were virtually even. In fact, the whole game was even, and mostly was a slog played in the middle of the field.
An interception by Daman Hernandez set up Yuma’s first scoring opportunity midway through the first quarter, as Yuma took over at the Brush 35. However, a holding call kept Yuma from getting a first down, and Lozano was was sent out for his first field goal of he season. It was from 49 yards, though, and it ended up falling just short.
Yuma came up short on a fourth-down play inside the Brush 30-yard line midway through the second.
Brush responded with one first down, but then a pass attempt was tipped and intercepted by Ethan Goeglein, taking over on Brush’s 42. A facemask penalty helped Yuma’s cause, and a tough run set up a first down at the 13-yard line.
Nash Richardson then scored around the left side on an 11-yard run, and Lozano kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead with 50 seconds left in the first half.
Brush got the ball first to open the second half, and the Beetdiggers efficiently moved downfield. Yuma helped a bit by jumping offsides on a fourth-and-three and a third-and-one.
The 80-yard drive eventually led to Ty Griffith’s five-yard touchdown run. Eric Rico’s extra point tied the game at 7 with 4:41 left in the third.
Yuma responded on its next drive, starting its own 35-yard line. A nice run by Silas Baucke and a facemask penalty moved the ball to Brush’s 40, and Goeglein had a run to the 25. However, the drive bogged down at the 18-yard line, and Lozano was sent out for a 35-yard field goal.
He drilled it right down the middle to give Yuma a 10-7 lead with about one minute left in the third.
Brush put together another nice drive, helped again by Yuma jumping offsides on a fourth-and-three. The Beetdiggers moved to Yuma’s 17, but Trey Stegman then got into the backfield to force a fumble recovered by Carson Lynch at the 15.
Yuma had to punt, and Brush threw an incompletion on fourth-and-21, set up by a holding penalty against the Beetdiggers.
Yuma took over at the Brush 46 with 2:48, and finally was able to secure the win when Richardson converted a third-and-two at the Brush 26, then ran out the clock.
Kallen Blach led the defense with 11 total tackles, including two tackles for a loss. Victor Perez was in on seven tackles, Cesar Varela seven, Kevin Hermosillo six, Stegman six, Goeglein five, Hernandez four, Richardson three, Ethan Gonzales three, Lynch three, Jesus Ross two, Reyli Trejo two, Baucke one, and Johnny Carrillo one.
Yuma got the win despite its toughest offensive showing of the season. Goeglein ran for 41 yards on eight carries, Baucke 41 yards on nine carries, Richardson 29 yards and a TD on 10 carries, Hernandez 29 yards on two attempts, Blach 12 yards on three carries, and Jack Blecha nine yards on seven carries.
“What is fun about us right now is (multiple weapons),” Seward said. “I don’t know how you game-plan for us. It’s fun to have this much depth at the skill positions.”