Reds football with an easy semi-finals Win

The Eaton Reds football program is headed back to another state championship game after a dominant win over Montezuma-Cortez

Abiah Randel, Staff Reporter

Playoff games are oftentimes the most competitive games of the season. Where the best of the best fight to get a chance at a state championship. This past weekend, however, the Reds football team blew out Montezuma-Cortez in the state semifinals with a score of 47-8. Montezuma was a decent team to have made it this far in the playoffs, but they were missing a key player in their offense. Senior running back Nicholas Saldivar was ejected from the Panther’s game against Rifle, which made him ineligible to play in the game against the Reds.

Sophomore Gunnar Clary, who has played varsity football his entire high school career, is getting a chance at a second state title as well. Clary is a defensive end as well as an offensive linebacker for the Reds. Clary said, “I think our success in the semis came from our preparation and experience. Our preparation throughout the year allowed us to execute well, and the experience of being there before allowed us to relax and not let nerves become a factor.” The coaching staff as well as the fan base the Reds have is incomparable to any other team in the state. The coaches and players push one another every day, which has greatly impacted the success of the team for the better. While Clary is a very team-oriented player, he knows his role as well as the impact he has on the team’s game. He said, “I was able to play a critical role in the win this past weekend by making sure I was doing my assignments and uplifting my teammates.”

Head Coach Zac Lemon, who has led the team to back-to-back state championships the last two years, is excited and proud to be headed back to another championship game. Lemon was also proud of how the team has progressively gotten better over the season. Lemon said, “I think that it’s a sign that we’re really good and we have a lot of playmakers, we’re kind of hard to stop, and our defense is playing well, so we’re just kind of a match-up nightmare for a lot of the teams we play.” As for heading back to his third championship as a head coach in three years, Lemon said, “It’s kind of crazy. We have to remind ourselves that it’s happening again because it doesn’t seem real because wow three in a row? It just feels like this year we were playing for another state championship and we had to be the last two and it feels great but it’s just another football game.”

The Reds have a serious chance of winning another state title, but that won’t come easily. The Reds, ranked second, will be playing the number one seed, Delta. When it comes to stats, these are the two most evenly matched teams in 2A and this was the matchup that looked sure from the start. The Reds will be headed down to the CSU Pueblo stadium for this late evening matchup.  Saturday the 26 of November, there will be a bus that will take any student and even members of the community who want to go watch the championship at the CSU Pueblo stadium both to and from the game. Anyone who wants to ride on the bus can contact Karla Winter at the number 970-534-0769 and must pay a ten-dollar fee as well. Tickets for the game itself are being sold on the CSU Pueblo sports website. Come out and support your Eaton Reds!