An 80-yard touchdown pass from Isaac Ross to Crosby Edwards had Bayfield High School even with Class 2A fourth-ranked Lamar after one quarter. Unfortunately for the Wolverines, the even play wouldn’t last long.
A week after Bayfield had a 16-0 lead on No. 1 Delta in the first half before it was outscored 32-0 the rest of the game, Lamar (2-0, 1-0 2A Southwest League) would go on to outscore the Wolverines 34-0 in the final three quarters Saturday to earn a 41-7 home win against visiting Bayfield High School (0-2, 0-1 SWL).
BHS was still within striking distance going into the third quarter down 14-7 at halftime. But Lamar would make it 27-7 before the end of the quarter.
“It was a little bit like last weekend,” BHS head coach Gary Heide said. “We started strong and competitive and had a great touchdown. We just never grasped our chance to take momentum. Down 14-7 at halftime, things were looking up. But they came out and scored on their first drive and we didn’t on ours. That was the difference.”
After a Bayfield punt, Lamar would score the first points of the game Saturday. Quarterback Zane Rankin would score on a 1-yard run to cap off an 86-yard drive by the home team with less than four minutes to play in the first quarter. Luis DeLaTorre made the extra point to make it 7-0.
BHS would fumble on it’s own 18-yard line to give the ball right back to Lamar, but nothing would come of it except a turnover on downs back to the Wolverines. With a new opportunity and it still only a one-score game, Ross would hit Edwards on the 80-yard touchdown strike to tie the game. Ross lofted a pass 25 yards down the sideline. Edwards snatched it over his defender, stayed in bounds and turned up field and sprinted the rest of the way for the score.
“Crosby made a great reception and was able to stay in bounds,” Heide said. “I was sitting there elated with the big first down. Then, all of a sudden, he turned upfield and everyone was screaming.”The Wolverines’ defense would get another stop on Lamar’s next possession. The offense drove to the Lamar 14-yard line, but Jesus Reyes would sack Ross to force BHS back to the 21. It led to a turnover on downs.
Lamar would get the go-ahead score on its next drive. Rankin found receiver Blake Buxton open for a 1-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-7 in favor of the host with four minutes to go in the half. The teams would exchange punts before going into the intermission.
Bayfield kicked the ball away to start the third quarter. Rankin needed a little less than four minutes to get Lamar back into the end zone, this time on a 35-yard touchdown pass to Buxton.
“Their quarterback was a great one,” Heide said of Rankin. “For us, he was very elusive. There were a lot of plays we shut down, but he would extend the plays and run for first downs or get good yardage.”
After another Bayfield punt, it was Lamar running back Reyes who would end a 60-yard Lamar drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to make it 27-7.
Bayfield would fumble again in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, this time with a snap going over the head of the punter to set up Lamar on the Wolverines’ 38-yard line. Three minutes later, Rankin hit Damian Antonio Ramos on a 21-yard touchdown pass to make it 34-7.
With no option but to go for it on fourth down, Bayfield would turn the ball over on downs on its own 37-yard line on its next possession. This time, Reyes would finish the ensuing Lamar drive with his second touchdown of the game, this time on a 5-yard run.
With four minutes to play, Ross would be intercepted by Antonio Ramos, and Lamar was able to close out the game with its 41-7 lead.
Heide was happy with the play of his junior quarterback. He said it was the run game that was never able to get going Saturday.
“Ross had a phenomenal game keeping plays alive. He kept us in the game,” Heide said. “We couldn’t sustain things in the ground game.”
Now 0-2 during a shortened six-game season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bayfield will look for its first win at 7 p.m. Friday against Pagosa Springs (2-0, 1-0 SWL) at home at Wolverine Country Stadium. Only eight teams will make the state playoffs this year instead of the usual 16, putting the Wolverines in a tough position early. The Pirates have had a strong start to the season with two blowout wins of 44-0 at Middle Park and 46-6 at home against Alamosa.
“The realism of it is that we have played two great first halves and have been very competitive against a couple of the best teams in the state,” Heide said. “I really believe that, in this third game under our Friday lights, if we put two halves together we will pull out a victory. That will get us back in it. If we beat a good Pagosa team and are 1-2 with three games to go, who knows what happens. If we go 4-2, maybe we sneak in.
“But I’m not worried about that right now. We need to put two halves together and get one victory. I believe we can do that.”