Tribe goodbye after painful loss – Yuma Pioneer
The Yuma High School soccer team will look to the future during the farewell week while learning from a painful past.
The Indians are 1-1 while they have this week off before heading to Ault on September 17th to take on the Highland Huskies.
Yuma came temptingly close to a groundbreaking win at the eternal powerhouse Strasbourg last Friday, losing 19:16 after being in the lead for most of the game.
Yuma is # 24 on the Class 1A Rating Percentage Index, which helps determine the 16-team playoff field, but has plenty of games left to move up the leaderboard. Despite the defeat in 3rd place in Strasbourg, the Indians even advanced into Class 1A Top 10 this week.
While Yuma is free this week, there is plenty of action at the North Central Conference.
Photo by Scott Gerrard
Wiggins is 2-0 after beating 2A Valley 45-0 last Thursday and welcomes Olathe on Saturday at 11am. Wray improved to 1-1 with a 30-0 win at Goodland, Kansas last Friday. The Eagles host Estes Park on Saturday at 1pm. The high-ranking Limon opened their season last Saturday with a long trip to Meeker, won 43: 6 and will now host Strasbourg in the marquee matchup of the week in 1A on Friday. Holyoke is in Bridgeport, Nebraska on Friday after opening his season with a long trip to Rye last Friday and winning 41-9. Burlington are 1-1 after beating 2A Lamar 36-0 last Friday. The Cougars host the neighboring Goodland on Friday at 7 p.m.
Strasbourg have played five straight 1A championship games since relegating from 2A, winning titles in 2016 and 2017 before losing the last three to Limon – who will be Yuma’s next home opponent on October 1.
Nevertheless, the tribe had every chance of winning in the home field of the other Indians last Friday.
In the end, it was Strasbourg’s ability to control the trenches that made the difference.
Both teams mostly stuck to the ground game, with Strasbourg reaching a total of 356 yards to 253 yards for Yuma. Strasburg ran 24 more games than Yuma, charging for 332 yards while the tribe had 184. Zach Marrero demonized the tribe throughout the game as the 5-foot-7, 135-pound junior ran for 154 yards and a touchdown at 18 carries. an average of 8.6 yards per carry.
Strasbourg held its own early, marching down on its inaugural drive and topping it off with quarterback Landen Martin’s six-yard TD run. The extra point attempt was blocked, Strasbourg was 6-0 in the lead.
However, the tribe then lost 16 points in a row and prepared for a chance of a groundbreaking victory to regain prominence in 1A football as part of the program.
First, Alex Lozano’s 33-yard field goal to draw within three, 6-3.
Yuma then took advantage of the middle of the second quarter when Clay Robinson hooked up with John Smith for a 49-yard touchdown pass.
With 9-6 leading and probably the best place kicker in 1A in Lozano, the Indians opted for two instead of the extra point for a four-point lead. Strasburg abandoned the two-point run attempt, but Yuma was still leading 9-6.
Photo by Scott Gerrard The defense had to stop on the next drive from Strasbourg, but Robinson lost a fumble towards the end of the quarter. Strasbourg threatened to take the lead again, but Yuma’s defense rose again to beat Marrero in the last game of the first half just short of the goal line.
Things looked really promising for Yuma early in the second half when Robinson cleared for an 83-yard touchdown run. Lozanos PAT was true for a 16-6 lead.
There was still a lot of play left, however, and Strasbourg responded with a heavy floor drive limited by Marrero’s three-yard touchdown run. However, Yuma blocked the extra points kick to stay ahead at 16:12.
The tribe just couldn’t take any more scoring threats as another touchdown would likely have secured victory.
Yuma’s defense came up with a couple of crucial stops in the third and fourth quarters to maintain the four-point lead.
But Strasbourg finally put together a long, excruciating evaluation drive.
The home team played just enough games to keep the drive alive. There was a point where Strasbourg was suspended for two penalties, one for a back block and one for the coach, but for some reason the penalty was flagged against the sideline, resulting in a loss of just five meters for Strasbourg to the penalty against Spot foul.
Yuma was injured with several defense sentences. Time passed so that if Yuma could stand up for the stop, the tribe could likely run out of time for victory, or Strasbourg would hit without giving Yuma much time to start a triumphant march.
Unfortunately, the latter happened when Marrero ran 14 yards to the 1-yard line and hit Martin with 1 minute and 11 seconds on the sneak. The extra points kick was good for a 19-16 Strasbourg tour.
Forced to blow, Yuma fell back on his last possession when Strasburg escaped with defeating the brave tribe.
Aside from Smith’s long touchdown catch, he was also a stone on Strasburg’s outward runs as cornerback Yuma led with a total of 12 tackles. Kevin Hermosillo was also tough with 10 tackles, Kallen Blach had a big defensive game by playing 10 tackles. Daman Thornton was seven, Victor Perez four, Andre Baucke four, Lozano four, Yahir Trejo three, Robinson three, Trey Stegman three, Christian Quezada two, Ethan Gonzales two, Ezekial Martinez two, Lars Sims two, Jose Ruiz two and Jesus Ross and Nash Richardson one each.
Robinson ran 159 yards and a touchdown on 24 straps, and Trejo had 24 yards on nine tries. Robinson completed two of six pass attempts for 69 yards, the 49-yard TD pass for Smith and a 20-yard completion for Thornton.