After coming up on the short end of a 47-7 score in its season opener against Mead last Thursday, the Lewis-Palmer football team needed less than 24 hours to put that game behind them.
“What we’ll do tomorrow is go in and watch film and fix our mistakes,” said Rangers’ coach Dustin Tupper after the Mead game at Don Breese Stadium. “Once film is done, this game is watched and we’re off to preparing for Evergreen in Week 2.”
Things unraveled for the Rangers from their opening possession. Senior quarterback Alex Weaver threw an interception on Lewis-Palmer’s first play from scrimmage. The Mavericks took advantage and scored two minutes later on a Jake Wachter 17-yard run.
Mead continued to score almost at will in the first half, rolling to a 21-0 first quarter lead and 34-0 halftime advantage. Nathan Bailey had touchdown runs of 80 and 40 yards to highlight the Mead scoring. Brady Veltien hooked up with the Prestin Tillema for a pair of touchdown passes.
“We ran into a buzz saw,” Tupper said. “We threw a pick on our first offense series and that’s really not how we roll. We have to play better defense.
“Mead is a good football team and we needed to make sure we protected the ball. We thought we could go with those guys, but we can’t do it if we’re making mistakes.”
The Rangers started the third quarter on a down note when Wachter took the kickoff and ran 90 yards for a touchdown and a 41-0 lead. That began the running clock, thus signaling the end of the competitive portion of the game.
“The first always seems to be hard on us and we need to make that jump from Week 1 to Week 2 and right now we know what we need to work on,” said Lewis-Palmer senior running back and team captain Jake Martin, who rushed for a team-high 45 yards on 16 carries. “We have to work on fitting tackles and lining up right and stay tough and stay focused.”
Lewis-Palmer scored its touchdown at the nine-minute mark of the fourth quarter when Weaver found senior wide out Paxton Crowell on a five-yard hook at the 16. Crowell did the rest of the work and weaved his way into the end zone, punctuating the score with a dive over the goal line that led to a hearty cheer from the Lewis-Palmer faithful.
“I really wanted to get in (the end zone). I wasn’t going to let anybody stop me,” Crowell said. “You never want to end up with a zero on the board and it gives our team a little hope at the end of the day.”
Mead has qualified for the Class 3A playoffs each of the past four seasons, reaching the quarterfinals twice and semifinals once. The Mavericks, who are coached by Jason Klatt, brother of former University of Colorado star quarterback and current television college football analyst Joel Klatt, are considered a serious threat to challenge for the state title this season.
Lewis-Palmer, a playoff team a year ago, is looking to return to the postseason after losing in the first round in 2018.