MONUMENT • Sean Grundman scored four touchdowns, three on passes from Nathan Conner, to lead Lewis-Palmer to a 42-29 victory over Sand Creek on Friday at Don Breese Stadium. Grundman caught touchdown passes of 80, 31 and 29 yards. He also returned a fumble for a score. The senior finished with five catches for 186 yards.
“Sean had an exciting game,” Lewis-Palmer coach Tony Ramunno. “Tonight he had the hot hand and I'm really proud of him.”
Conner completed nine passes on 15 attempts for 224 yards.
“He's one of the best I've coached,” Ramunno said. “He's really accurate; when he gets going, he can throw it on a dime.”
Sand Creek quarterback Micheal DeCarmo was a one-man stat show. The junior ran 19 times for 159 yards and was 13 for 22 passing for 156 yards. Eleven of those completions were caught by Jordan Preston for 142 yards.
“Sand Creek's football program has stepped up,”Ramunno said. “They've got some good players over there and they're well coached.”
While Lewis-Palmer controlled the ball for the larger part of the first half, key mistakes put the Rangers in a hole. During a promising first drive of the game, Nathan Conner's pass in the flat was intercepted by Sand Creek's Edgar Urquijo and returned 65 yards for a touchdown.
The Rangers turned a 13-play drive into a 32-yard field goal by Conner Rezzonico, but were stuffed on a fourth-and-one attempt at the Sand Creek 9 on their first series of the second quarter. After getting the ball back on a punt, Lewis-Palmer's next drive was stopped at their own 40. Attempting to punt, the snap sailed over the punter's head and was downed inside the 10.
Two runs by DeCarmo put the ball in the end zone and increased the Scorpion lead to 14-3.
With less than 3 minutes left, Grundman got behind the Sand Creek defense, where Conner found him with a long pass. Grundman ran the final 45 yards, breaking a tackle along the way, to complete the 80-yard touchdown. A failed conversion kept the score at 14-9.
It took the Rangers just one minute into the second half to take their first lead of the game. Getting good field position on the kickoff as a result of a personal foul, Conner hit Grundman for a 31-yard touchdown. The pair connected again on a 29-yarder to make it 22-25.
Sand Creek assembled a good drive, but a bobbled pitch was grabbed by Grundman and returned 80 yards for another Lewis-Palmer score.
DeCarmo answered with an 80-yard touchdown run, but Lewis-Palmer put together a 63-yard drive culminating with a pass to Austin Grantham.
DeCarmo connected with Preston with 8:09 remaining to close to within a score, but Lewis-Palmer again answered with a long drive culminating in a Conner run.
“Our program has lost a few seniors and we wanted to test the waters early with a good program,” Ramunno said. “I though it was an exciting game for us to come from behind, take the lead and go ahead and win the game.”