Wildcats declaw Tigers in upset
By Tim Merris -
What was supposed to be a Homecoming celebration turned into the Grand Junction Tigers worst nightmare. Wildcats 20, Tigers 14.
In an upset for the ages, Fruita Monument High School pulled off what many believe wouldn’t and couldn’t happen. The Grand Junction Tigers were rated number eight in the state rankings with Fruita coming in ranked 126.
Junior Jacob Lynch redeemed himself from his poor performance against Highlands Ranch. Lynch completed 7 of 12 passes but more importantly did not throw an interception.
Senior running back Vince Grasso pounded the Tigers for 132 yards on 20 carries. This was instrumental as it allowed the Wildcats to keep the ball away from the Grand Junctions potent offense. Senior Zach Griggs contributed to the scoring by running back a second quarter kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown to put the Wildcats up 17-7. Senior Spencer Fair kicked a 24-yard field goal to make the score 20-7. The Tigers scored a touchdown and extra point in the third quarter to cut the lead to 20-14. Grand Junction mounted a drive with three minutes to go in the game but an incomplete pass on fourth-and-three from Fruita’s 33 yard line negated the drive. The Wildcats took over on downs and with several big runs by Grasso, held on for the win despite being the heavy underdogs.
The real key to the win for Fruita was holding onto the football. This has been their Achilles’ heel practically all season. But against the Tigers, they had no giveaways and that kept them in the game.
They were able to offset the bigger Grand Junction team with speed and finesse.
The other key to the Wildcat success was what Coach Sean Mulvey told his boys during the week. He told them “ Just please believe, don’t give up.” He said very few folks gave his team a chance to win but they believed in themselves and came out and played as a team.
This is the second year as the head coach of the FMHS varsity football program and Coach Mulvey said the freshman team, JV team and now the varsity have beaten the Tigers and he is very proud to be part of it.
The Wildcats (2-4) will now prepare for their game against Grand Junction Central (Grand Junction, CO). The Warriors come into the 4A/5A Southwwest game with a 0-5 record. In their last game, Grand Junction Central was tipped by Dakota Ridge (Littleton, CO), 58-26, in a non-league game.