Las Animas football loses home opener to Front Range Christian, still optimistic about spring season

Ken Hamrick
LA Junta Tribune
Las Animas High School's T.J. Ortiz, right, catches a touchdown pass ahead of Front Range Christian's James Davenport on Saturday, March 27, 2021, in Las Animas. The Trojans lost to the Falcons 58-22.

Football came to the Arkansas River Valley on Saturday as Las Animas High School hosted Front Range Christian at Jack LaSalle Trojan Field.

The Trojans started the season the previous week with a 48-12 win over Justice in Boulder. However, their home opener resulted in a 58-22 loss to Front Range Christian.

"It was a tough opponent and I have to take my hat off to them," Trojans coach Tyson Vigil said. "I'm happy with the way our team played. Offensively, we're moving the ball quite a bit and we had a couple of drives stall out on us. Defensively, we have some holes to patch up, but we'll get it done."

More:Las Animas High School's Shelby Eck named a Daniels Scholar

Back in September, the Colorado High School Activities Association planned to have all of the football programs play in the spring Season C. However, after much discussion CHSAA decided to return to play in fall's Season A.

Several schools had decided to play in Season C and so, CHSAA left it up to the schools as whether to play in either Season A or Season C.

A total of 84% of the schools in Colorado opted to play in Season A, including nine of the 10 Arkansas River Valley schools. Las Animas was the only local school to declare to play in Season C.

Vigil said that the Trojans are playing very well in the spring.

"This is the best ball we've played in a few years," Vigil said. "It's weird to be out here in the spring and dealing with the wind and stuff. But we've been blessed with pretty good weather. So the only thing is the time of year, but everything else is just football."

Vigil said that the players were a little disappointed in not playing in the fall, but it worked out well.

"I think they were still pretty optimistic about it," Vigil said. "It worked out good for me because I also officiate. But even though we didn't play, we still came out here and put in a lot of work in terms of practicing. That kept the guys satisfied and I think the way we're playing so well is because we had to wait so long and they were just hungry."

Just like the fall, the Season C teams were scheduled to play six regular season games. However, Las Animas had its season drop to five as Primero opted to not play football this season.

"It's a short season, but if we can pick up a couple more wins then we'll be able to get into the playoffs and extend the season a little more longer," Vigil said. "We're hoping to get a playoff game at home and hosting it because that's our Santa Fe Trail Day weekend and that's a big, exciting event. Hopefully we can get a lot of fans here. But we have to take it one game at a time."

More:Las Animas football crushes Justice to begin Season C season thanks to strong rushing game

Las Animas (1-1) will host Custer County on Friday at 7 p.m.

"That's a great next opponent for us," Vigil said. "They're down a little bit, but if we come and play like we did today and fix a few of those holes on defense, I think we have a good shot at victory."

Front Range Christian 58, Las Animas 22

Front Range Christian 14 14 8 22 — 58

Las Animas 6 0 8 8 — 22

First quarter

FRC — Davenport 1 run (pass failed), 7:27

LA — Ortiz 11 pass from Vigil (run failed), 2:53

FRC — Potts 23 pass from Hiltman (Scadden pass from Hiltman), 1:03

Second quarter

FRC — Potts 11 pass from Hiltman (pass failed), 7:42

FRC — Davenport 1 run (Scadden run), 3:04

Third quarter

LA — Vigil 5 run (C. Morlan run), 6:20

FRC — Bolz 2 pass from Hiltman (Scadden run), 5:32

Fourth quarter

FRC — Davenport 5 pass from Hiltman (Scadden run), 11:53

LA — Vigil 1 run (D. Morlan pass from Vigil), 10:04

FRC — Potts 25 pass from Hiltman (Scadden run), 7:03

FRC — Scadden 37 pass from Hiltman (pass failed), 5:56

Tribune-Democrat reporter Ken Hamrick can be reached by email atKHamrick1@gannett.com