FOUNTAIN • Fountain-Fort Carson was giving no senior discounts Friday at Guy R. Barickman Stadium.
The Trojans’ senior running back triad of Ben Selby, Anthony Davis and Trae Bankston combined for 293 yards as F-FC advanced to the second round of the Colorado 5A football championship playoffs with a 26-3 victory over Douglas County.
“We’re really close; we motivate each other, we talk to each other and give each other tips all the time,” Bankston said. “We love each other. It’s as strong as it can get.”
One of those tips came in handy in the second quarter. On a third and 7, Bankston took a handoff up the middle, veered left and broke a tackle. He then accelerated through the defense, leaving would-be tacklers, who thought they had the angle, grasping at air for a 35-yard touchdown that gave F-FC a 13-3 lead.
“Ben (Selby) told me to just keep squeezing to the left side,” Bankston said.
“So when I got the ball, I squeezed as hard as I could to the left and when they hit me, I just spun off. Then I ran as fast as I could.”
Selby led the Trojans’ ground game with 110 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown. Anthony Davis added 106 yards on 16 carries, while Bankston had 77 yards on 14 carries and a pair of scores.
F-FC (9-1), the tournament’s No. 8 seed, will host No. 9 Grandview on Friday.
“We head into territory next week where we have an opportunity to host,” F-FC coach Mitch Johnson said. “If we win that ballgame, it will be a first for us in 5A.”
F-FC also won its first-round game a season ago but was beaten by Ralston Valley 14-13 in the second round.
A win over Grandview (7-3) would put the Trojans in the state quarterfinals.
But to get there, they had to get past Douglas County (5-5), a team that relies on its dominant ground game as much as does F-FC.
Douglas County’s Trey Smith, who came into the game as Class 5A’s No. 2 runner with 1,625 yards (180.5 per game), managed 67 yards on the Huskies’ first drive and 17 on their last when the game was already decided. In between, Fountain-Fort Carson held the talented junior to just 31 yards.
And it was in between that the Trojans ran away with the game.
Fountain-Fort Carson made a statement on its second drive. Pinned deep in their own territory, the Trojans drove 98 yards on 13 plays, highlighted by Davis’ 58 yards and ending with a 1-yard plunge by Bankston.
Fountain-Fort Carson possessed the ball for all but 2:19 of the third quarter, resulting in a pair of short Anthony Isom field goals, the second of which came on the third play of the fourth quarter.
Douglas County went four and out, turning the ball over on its own 45 on downs. Seven plays later, Selby bulled into the end zone from 3 yards out to make it 26-3.
Douglas County managed just 204 yards of offense.
“It was a great win for our program,” Johnson said. “A lot of hard work went into tonight and we’re just tickled that we have a chance to be able to do it again next Friday night.”