IDAHO SPRINGS — Whether it was Clear Creek’s miscommunication on offense or the injuries adding up or just the smash-mouth brand of football Front Range Christian played, it all added up to the same result.
Clear Creek turned the ball over six times — five times in the first half — and Front Range Christian’s Tanner Matoaba rushed for two touchdowns in the Falcons’ 27-7 victory Oct. 19 at Golddigger Stadium.
“I think from a momentum standpoint it’s good for anybody,” said Matoba on the turnovers. He finished with 188 yards rushing. “Our main objective was to come up here and get a win.”
Front Range Christian improved to 3-5 overall, 3-3 in the 1A Metro Conference.
There was little doubt among the Golddiggers, who didn’t get inside the Front Range Christian 45-yard line until the game’s final minute, that the miscues didn’t hurt their psyche.
“We just got to win the mental battles. A lot of fumbles were caused by miscommunication out there between the running backs and the quarterback,” Clear Creek’s Chandler Morgan said. “We just got to overcome that and move on from it. There’s no point in suffering on the past.”
The loss was Clear Creek’s first home setback of the season.
“Anytime you turn the ball over it hurts your confidence,” Clear Creek head coach Brian Inman said. “We just didn’t play like I know we can.”
Though Front Range Christian scored just seven points on those six turnovers — a 40-yard Matoba TD run to cap a 21-point second quarter — the miscues took an emotional toll on Clear Creek (4-4, 3-3). As did the injuries.
A team that is already playing without starting quarterback Justin Lucas (concussion) and wide receiver Tevin Lucas (ribs), lost starting tailback Mark Russell in the third quarter with a shoulder injury. Quarterback Jordan Howard was sidelined late in the fourth quarter.
“It’s just one of those things. You hope your team can overcome (the injuries), but sometimes it’s just too much,” Inman said.
Reserve signal-caller Thomas Warren, who started two games earlier this season, heaved a 25-yard TD pass to Javier Pena Estrada with 10 seconds left as the Golddiggers avoided being shut out.
The Falcons finished with 148 yards of total offense.
“I think we were able to keep them off-balance when we were on defense for most of the night,” Front Range Christian head coach Derald Gautier said. “I think they struggled to find something they could do. The turnovers were a big part of that for sure.”
FRONT RANGE CHRISTIAN 27, CLEAR CREEK 7
F.R. CHRISTIAN 0-21-0-6—27
CLEAR CREEK 0-0-0-7—7
FRCS: Seth Scadden 6 run (kick failed)
FRCS: Tanner Matoba 21 run (Reese Ferrin run)
FRCS: Matoba 40 run (Sampson Briggs kick)
FRCS: Connor Rhoads 44 pass from Justrin Truman (kick failed)
CC: Javier Pena Estrada 25 pass from Thomas Warren (Estrada kick)