FOUNTAIN - For much of the night, Doherty running back Zach Young ducked linemen in the backfield and stumbled to minimal gains.
When it mattered the most, however, he proved why he's one of the most explosive backs in the state.
Young shocked Fountain-Fort Carson (4-4, 4-1 5A Pioneer) with an 80-yard score to rebuild a two-score lead for the Spartans (6-2, 4-1) late in the third quarter, Evan Powell threw 217 of his 305 yards to the speedy Kyle Carey and the defense grabbed three interceptions and two fumbles in a 41-28 win over the hosting Trojans Friday night.
Young ran 34 times for 203 yards and scored from 1, 11 and 80 yards, and Carey did the rest of the scoring with TD receptions of 12, 28 and 73 yards.
The win put Doherty in a three-way tie with Fountain-Fort Carson and Legend atop the league.
"Getting the win was the most important thing tonight. It gives us a chance going forward for the title," said Young, who is about 250 yards away from breaking the school's single-season rushing record. "We knew they'd be tough and I knew I had to make the most of my chances. And I did."
The Doherty defense did the same. The Spartans stopped the Trojans on a 9-minute, 79-yard drive on downs inside the 1-yard line in the second quarter and then forced a fumble after a 5-minute, 63-yard drive to start the second half.
The Trojans, who are used to controlling the clock, couldn't finish drives all night long.
"They made some terrific plays on us, what can I say?" Fountain-Fort Carson coach Mitch Johnson said. "We made some mistakes and it hurts not to capitalize on some lengthy drives."
Doherty scored on each of the Trojans' five turnovers. In the third quarter, Powell hit Carey on a 28-yard score to take a 19-7 lead after the Trojans' first fumble at the 7-minute mark. Then Young scored from 11 yards out following Fountain-Fort Carson's second fumble.
"We knew we had to capitalize after our defense gave us those opportunities," Carey said. "And we were led by our line and just made some plays."
Young and Fountain-Fort Carson's Charles Tigner traded touchdowns in the first quarter to make it 7-7. Trojans quarterback DJ Leatimua connected with Ben Deis for more than 150 yards and two scores.
Matt Bogans had two interceptions and Josh Wiggins had the other for the Spartans, who conclude the regular season against rival Palmer (0-8). Fountain-Fort Carson will finish with Heritage (4-4).