It won’t be the same Pueblo South team that won a Class 4A state championship a year ago when the Colts ride into Durango High School for a key South Central League football game Friday night.
The Colts, who moved down into Class 3A after last year’s state title run in 4A, graduated the bulk of last year’s team, but the seventh-ranked Demons will still be ready for a tough game against another physical Pueblo-based team. Durango (5-2, 2-0 3A South Central League) will host Pueblo South (2-5, 1-1 SCL) at 6 p.m. Friday. The Demons will hope to win their final two home games in the next two weeks to set up a potential league championship game Nov. 2 at Pueblo East.
“We’re treating every game from here on out like a playoff game,” DHS sophomore quarterback Jordan Woolverton said after last week’s 24-6 win at Pueblo Central. “These are conference games. We want to be playing in the big game against Pueblo East. To get there, we have to treat every game with the same mindset and work hard.”
DHS senior Dawson Marcum has been a force in every phase of the game this season. He has a chance to crack the 1,000-yard rushing barrier Friday night, as he will enter the game with 946 yards on 105 carries. He has rushed for more than 100 yards in six of the team’s seven games this season, and he has 10 rushing touchdowns. Marcum also has thrown for a touchdown and been a force returning the ball on special teams. He also has led the Demons defensively with 72 total tackles and two interceptions.
“Everything that kid has got, he’s earned,” DHS head coach David Vogt said. “You talk about somebody working hard for a goal, he’s been one of the hardest working kids all year. He just shows how tough he is every week. The last three games, there’s at least two or three times he’s broken five tackles or more on a run. It’s a blessing to have him, and he’s a guy who can take it in for a score at any time.”
Marcum and the DHS defensive backs will also look for opportunities to score on defense this week. Pueblo South junior quarterback Logan Petit has thrown eight interceptions to 10 touchdowns this year. He has thrown for 1,158 yards while he has completed 48.5 percent of his passes.
Vogt said the Durango defense has had a great week in practice to prepare for Pueblo South’s pass game.
“We’re going to have good opportunities this week,” he said. “They’re going to throw the ball. We want to try to get up on them early and make them throw it a lot. At practice Wednesday, we had six interceptions. We’re going to hop we’re dropping guys to the right spot.”
DHS will have to be careful of Colts wide receiver Jackson Dickerson, who has 557 receiving yards and four touchdowns on 34 receptions. Senior Cedric Tillman also has four receiving touchdowns to go with 349 yards on 30 receptions.
“(Dickerson) loves to get the ball, and he’s really fast,” Vogt said. “We will mix coverage up on him and disguise some stuff.”
Vogt said the DHS offense will have to be wary of Pueblo South linebacker Braden Christie, too.
“I’ve never seen a kid go as fast or hard as he does,” Vogt said.
Durango’s pass attack has been on target in league play so far. Woolverton is up to 1,081 yards passing to go with eight touchdowns to only two interceptions. He has completed 65.5 percent of his passes and has hit eight different receivers this year. DHS will look to keep it up on a slippery turf field that is sure to be extra slick with all the rain in Durango the last week.
“It probably gives us an advantage being on our home field,” Vogt said. “Those guys haven’t ever played on our field. Our kids know to slow down a bit more before making a cut. It plays to our advantage.”