Tigers flatten Demons with size

Grand Junction’s big men get push against DHS football on Saturday

The Demons had one chance to take a lead over Grand Junction on Saturday night.

They handed it to the Tigers, instead.

The Durango High School football team’s Casey Dunlap intercepted a lateral pass on the Tigers’ first set of downs, and the offense drove to the Grand Junction 6-yard line, but quarterback Jeremy Szura threw an interception – the first of three Durango turnovers – and the Tigers drove the length of the field to take a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter and set the tone for the rest of the game.

The Demons lost their Southwestern League opener 49-10 to the Tigers on Saturday night in Grand Junction.

“It’s a disappointing loss,” DHS head coach Greg Wyatt said on the KPTE 99.7 FM postgame radio show. “We had momentum in the first quarter.

“That was a momentum killer,” he said in reference to the first, red-zone turnover.

Durango’s first score came on a 31-yard field goal from Hayden Sill in the second quarter after a short, 11-play drive.

Szura added a fourth-quarter touchdown to close out the game, capping a 10-play drive with a 7-yard run.

“The kids didn’t quit,” Wyatt said in his radio interview. “They kept fighting, and we put a couple of points on the board at the end of the game.”

But the Demons finished with just 103 total yards – almost half of them coming on the final drive. Durango had 59 yards of total offense in the first half as the team struggled all game against the overwhelming size of the Tigers’ offensive and defensive lines.

Although the Demons’ defense did force the Tigers to turn the ball over on downs on back-to-back drives in the second quarter, Grand Junction answered with three consecutive two-play drives for touchdowns to take a 42-3 lead before half behind their big blockers, who opened up big holes for the Tigers’ running backs.

Grand Junction rumbled to 445 yards, 324 of them on the ground and 121 through the air.

The Tigers tacked on one more score after the halfway break with their second-string players before the running-clock mercy rule, which kicks in at a 40-point deficit, ran out the clock.

The Demons drop to 2-4 with the loss and will take on a winless Grand Junction Central team at 1 p.m. Saturday in Grand Junction.

heraldsports @durangoherald.com