Football: Vista PEAK can’t hold lead to Fort Morgan with playoff spot at stake

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The Vista PEAK football team came within a half of the first state playoff appearance Saturday. Then the third quarter happened.

Coach Pat Rock’s Bison had an 18-0 lead against Fort Morgan at halftime, but watched the visitors score 22 unanswered points in the third quarter — plus seven more in the fourth — in a 29-18 loss that leaves Vista PEAK on the outside looking in at the Class 3A playoffs.

The Bison sat No. 17 in the 3A wild card points going into the day and a win over a Fort Morgan team with 5 wins to its credit already likely would have put them in the playoffs. Instead, the loss ended Vista PEAK’s second varsity season at 5-5.

Things looked great at the break for the Bison, who lost to the Mustangs 59-6 last season, but started strong with the defense making key stops and the offense getting into the end zone three times.

Junior Isaiah Young opened the scoring by scoring a 51-yard touchdown midway through the first quarter to put Vista PEAK in front.

After the defense stuffed Fort Morgan (6-3) on fourth down in the red zone, the Bison marched 89 yards the other way to another touchdown, with senior running back Nathon Miller crashing into the end zone from three yards out.

A snap over the head of the Fort Morgan punter have the Bison another chance in the final minute of the first half, which they cashed in on junior quarterback Noah Butler’s 9-yard TD pass to D.J. Ortiz.

But that would be it for Vista PEAK’s offense, while Fort Morgan finally got on track, as Jared Bohm scored its first touchdown less than two minutes into the third quarter and Toby McBride tallied another just 1:41 later.

A safety and Eric Kembel TD vaulted the Mustangs into the lead at 22-18 going in the final quarter.

Fort Morgan got the only points in the period on Bohm’s second touchdown with less than a minute left.

FORT MORGAN 29, VISTA PEAK 18

Score by quarters:

Fort Morgan   0   0  22  7 — 29

Vista PEAK     6  12   0  0 — 18

Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel.