Falcon made an emphatic first statement on offense Friday at Sand Creek. Then it turned things over to a stingy, yet perhaps unheralded defense, which turned in the most impressive performance.
Kalen Ballage rushed for 209 yards and three touchdowns to pace the offense, while Isaiah Fields picked off three passes for the second straight week as the Falcons forced four turnovers and held an explosive Sand Creek offense to 202 total yards in a 31-7 victory.
"We knew they had a good offense," said Falcon co-coach Terry Pourier, who headed up the defensive effort. "Our game plan was to play as a team, and that's what makes these guys so special. They refuse to lose, and as a team, they just decided to execute the game plan and get the job done."
Fields set the tempo before Falcon (5-0, 2-0 4A Pikes Peak) took an offensive snap after returning the opening kickoff to midfield.
Six plays later, Ballage took a toss and went 29 yards for a touchdown and a 6-0 lead not quite three minutes into the game.
"We had great field position, and we knew we had to score," said Fields, who also had three interceptions in last week's game against Rampart. "That first score got the defense motivated."
Then things went downhill for Sand Creek (4-1, 1-1) after Daniel Quin fumbled on the first play from scrimmage.
The Falcons quickly took advantage and doubled the lead on Cameron Regennitter's 5-yard touchdown run.
"They did come out here and beat us, but we're a better team than that," said Quin, who later scored Sand Creek's only touchdown on a 9-yard run with 3:07 left to avert a shutout. "They were quicker and faster than we were getting off the ball."
After Falcon forced a punt on the ensuing possession, its offense once again made short work of Sand Creek's defense, going 80 yards in seven plays. The last 55 on the legs of Ballage, who outran the Scorpions down the right sideline on a toss sweep for an 18-0 cushion with 2:06 still remaining in the first quarter.
Sand Creek senior quarterback Micheal DeCarmo, averaging more than 300 yards of total offense during the first four games, ran for just 52 yards while completing seven short passes for 36 yards.
He led the Scorpions inside the Falcon 20 twice in the first half, but a drop on a fourth-down pass and an interception in the end zone kept them off the scoreboard.
Down 31-0 in the fourth, DeCarmo guided another long drive, this time to the Falcons 4, but was picked off again by Fields in the end zone.
"A lot of work goes into our defense," Falcons linebacker Wyatt Aaberg said. "We knew we could stop Micheal, and we had a game plan and succeeded. It's like they say, defense wins championships."