The Discovery Canyon football team missed a couple of critical answers in its first big test of the season.
After winning each of their first two games by at least 14 points, the Thunder welcomed Pueblo South and its 2-0 record to Hatchell Field at Academy District 20 Stadium on Saturday afternoon, an eventual 32-22 victory for the Colts.
Despite starting their initial possession on their own 10, the Pueblo South offense directed by quarterback Logan Petit efficiently moved the ball downfield on a healthy mix of quick passes and outside runs.
“I for sure thought that was going to be a great start for us and we were going to make them punt that,” Thunder coach Shawn Mitchell said.
Instead, Pueblo South took a 6-0 lead on a nine-yard keeper from Petit, and Discovery Canyon’s defense looked stumped for most of the afternoon.
“They had a lot of success with that quarterback-tackle trap,” Mitchell said. “The tackle was pulling and kicking it out there. Maybe we weren’t prepared enough for that type of play.”
Discovery Canyon answered and took a 7-6 lead into the second quarter behind a couple runs from senior quarterback Jonah Isakson and a first-down completion to Kevin Frye. Christian Call eventually ran around the left side from about 10 yards out for the Thunder’s first touchdown.
“I liked our response,” Mitchell said. “I was just hoping we would have more responses.”
Petit’s second touchdown in as many possessions gave the Colts a 12-7 lead they would take to halftime and never relinquish.
After being stopped on the first drive of the second half, things quickly got away from Discovery Canyon. Petit’s third rushing touchdown came on the Colts’ ensuing drive, and when the Thunder got the ball back, it wasn’t long before Ian Smith was scooping up a fumble and rumbling 15 yards to make it 26-7 midway through the third.
“It was going to take both sides of the ball to get us back into the game,” Mitchell said. “We were not that team today, for sure.”
The more methodical Thunder offense fought back when Marshall Pike powered in from two yards out to pull the Thunder within 12 on a drive that featured first-down receptions from Call and Ethan Hall late in the third.
Petit’s longest of four rushing touchdowns followed on the first play of the fourth quarter when he took it 50 yards around the left end for Pueblo South’s final score.
The Thunder’s biggest offensive play, a 79-yard touchdown run from Pike, came too late.
“I just saw my A-back blocking for me,” Pike said. “I cut off that, and I was just kinda free from there. It was pretty good blocking on that play.”
For much of the day, the blocking wasn’t good enough to get the Thunder’s power run game going, and the defense struggled to get off the field in critical moments, leading to a less-than-desired score.
“Against a team like South you can’t play uninspired, unmotivated football,” Mitchell said. “You can’t make mistakes, mental or physical. You can’t be diving all over the turf trying to make tackles against their skill players. You can’t put yourself in a third-and-25 situation, not in our offense, not in any offense.”