1-9 to 5-5: Tigers beat Sheridan to finish at .500
ENGLEWOOD – One year removed from a 1-9 campaign, the Summit High School football team reached .500 Friday night with a 22-7 road win over Sheridan in the season finale for both teams.Sophomore fullback Robert Phipps scored twice, and the Tigers steamrolled over the Rams (3-7) in the second half to erase a 7-6 halftime deficit and finish their first season as an independent at 5-5.”We won, woohoo!” an elated SHS head coach Rob Royer said of the school’s first non-losing season in the better part of a decade. “In the overall picture this was monstrous for the program,” Royer added.After the Rams ran one in in the first quarter to take a 7-0 lead, Summit took over. Phipps broke a trap play up the middle for a long score, using a nice fake by senior tailback Nic Nilson and a perfectly executed block by sophomore guard Logan Sharp to go in untouched.Although the Tigers trailed entering the final 24 minutes of their season, it wasn’t long before they turned the tables. Bruising fullback Cameron Chapman punched one in off-tackle behind Mike Holloway and John Baker from three yards out, and Phipps followed suit with his second score behind blocks by Holloway and Alex Shackleton.The two TD’s came on Summit’s first two drives of the second half, a pair of punishing, clock-munching marches that demoralized the Rams.”I’m telling you, these kids were fired up,” Royer said of his team’s second-half charge. “We came out and just rammed it down their throats. After that, (Sheridan) folded.”The Tigers put an exclamation point on the comeback when senior defensive end Bryndon Tarafa sacked the Rams QB, forcing a fumble that another Sheridan player kicked out of the end zone for a safety.Royer credited the play of his defense, specifically middle linebacker Chapman (“he was lighting people up”), as well as his seniors.Speaking of co-captains Nilson and Holloway, Royer said, “Just great leadership, especially today. They weren’t going to let us lose.”Late hits: Nilson picked off a pass for the game’s only turnover … After giving the ball away six times against Manitou Springs on Oct. 22, the Tigers didn’t turn it over once in their final two games, both of which they won … Summit beat Sheridan 33-6 last year for its only win.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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