After sitting out the majority of last season with an injury, Mancos High School starting quarterback Breccen Morelli could not wait to return to the field.
Teammates assured their third-year signal caller that his first game in roughly a year would be special and sure enough, it was, as the junior rushed for 91 yards and two touchdowns and threw a touchdown pass during his team’s 48-0 drubbing of Plateau Valley on Aug. 24.
While Morelli’s triumphant return stood out as one of the game’s major storylines, the strength and diversity of the Bluejays’ running game was impossible to overlook as four ball carriers combined to rush for 326 yards and four touchdowns.
Among the leading rushers for the Bluejays was junior Anthony Medina, who carried the ball seven times for 97 yards and scored on a 75-yard touchdown run. Senior Chance Garcia rushed 11 times for 93 yards and one touchdown, and freshman Chase Moore rushed four times for 45 yards and one touchdown.
Although Mancos attempted only four passes in the contest, four different players were credited with receptions, including Chase Moore, Chance Garcia, Hunter Goodwin and Morelli.
The Bluejays were led defensively by Garcia and Morelli, who were each credited with 12 tackles. Morelli had three sacks, and Goodwin had one, while Moore had his team’s only interception in his high school debut.
Mancos led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter and 28-0 at halftime before outscoring Plateau Valley 20-0 in the second half. The loan bright spot for Plateau Valley came courtesy of senior running back Gage Willow, who rushed eight times for 57 yards.
Now 1-0 on the season, Mancos enjoy an off week before squaring off against Merino at a neutral field in South Park on Sept. 8. The contest figures to be a competitive one as Merino finished last season with an 8-2 record overall and Mancos has won eight of its past 10 games.