CASTLE ROCK — With identical 4-0 records in league, the 1A Trico League championship would come down to the final game of the regular season on Friday between La Center and Castle Rock.
Defenses from both teams controlled the start of the game. However, once the scoring started it would not slow down and La Center was able to outlast Castle Rock 42-39.
Sophomore running back Bryten Schmitz carried the load offensively for La Center as he had 33 rushes for 216 yards and two receptions for 75 yards.
“It means a lot, the trust I got from coach (John Lambert), and this line came out and did a great job and really made it easy for me,” Schmitz said.
The La Center offense ended up being very balanced. Quarterback Tom Lambert was able to make some big plays as he totaled 216 yards and three touchdowns.
“We were able to pass the ball fairly well. Based on what they were doing we were able to take advantage of that,” coach John Lambert said.
Every time that La Center would score and feel like it had control of the game Castle Rock would fight back keeping the game close.
With 1:54 left in the fourth quarter, Castle Rock backup quarterback Chase Rusher was able to connect with Parker Watts to bring the score within three points.
On the ensuing onside kick, the Rockets weren’t able to recover, giving the Wildcats the chance to run out the clock.
“We think Bryten Schmitz is a heck of a running back,” Lambert said. “He showed us tonight getting the big final first down to seal the game.”
This matchup gave La Center a better understanding of their level as a team.
“This was the best team we’ve seen all year. It showed what we can do in the future,” receiver Andrew Scott said. “We still need to work on the little things, that make great teams.”
La Center will host Elma in the Week 10 playoff game.
LA CENTER 42, CASTLE ROCK 39
La Center 7 21 7 7–42
C.Rock 12 12 0 15–39
CR — Wyatt Partridge 2 run (run failed)
LC — Tom Lambert 1 run (Sean Fox kick)
CR — Austin McQuilliams 55 run (run failed)
LC — Andrew Scott 30 pass from Lambert (Fox kick)
LC — Irving Alvarez 20 pass from Lambert (Fox kick)
CR — Landon Gardner 25 pass from Naugle (run failed)
LC — Scott 40 pass from Lambert (Fox kick)
CR — Gardner 10 pass from Naugle (run failed)
LC — Bryten Schmitz 15 run (Fox kick)
CR — Partridge 55 run (Naugle run)
LC — Lambert 2 run (Fox kick)
CR — Parker Watts 14 pass from Chase Rusher (Paul Waldman kick)
RUSHING — La Center: Lambert 10-11, Schmitz 33-216, Jace Womack 2-3, Alvarez 1-3. Castle Rock: Partridge 16-76, McQuilliams 5-60, Jayden Behrendsen 1-(minus 5), Naugle 1-(minus 7).
PASSING — La Center: Tom Lambert 12-18-2-216; Castle Rock: Chance Naugle 6-9-1-108, Wyatt Partridge 0-1-0-0, Chase Rusher 1-1-0-14.
RECEIVING — La Center: Irving Alvarez 3-20, Bryten Schmitz 2-75, Andrew Scott 7-121. Castle Rock: Partridge 1-(minus 2), Parker Watts 3-53, Landon Gardner 3-71.