North quarterback Cody Marvel of D’Evelyn passed to Horizon’s Dustin Rivas for a 70-yard touchdown on the first play of the Colorado High School Coaches Association’s All-State football game setting the tone for a dominating 24-0 North victory over the South.
D’Evelyn’s Conner Skelton added the extra point 20 seconds into the game June 7 on the Rex Stadium Field at Adams State University in Alamosa.
The North had gained the opportunity following a 20-yard kickoff return by Fort Morgan’s Cody Davis that reached the North 30.
The North defense took over from there, as through the rest of the game the South could hardly register a serious attack. And it was the overall efforts of the North players that more than pleased coach Mike Gabriel from Holy Family.
“It was just a great opportunity to work with these great players and coaches,” Gabriel said. “I think the key for the staff was that we were able to come together and help the boys get together. Defensively, the kids were solid, and we certainly got the game off to a good start.”
It only took two plays at the beginning of the second quarter for the North to up its lead to 14-0 via a 50-yard pass from quarterback Robert Fulton of Northridge to Marvel with 14:22 left, and with Skelton adding his second extra point of the night.
While the touchdown came on the second play of the quarter, it actually capped a six-play drive that started at the North 27-yard line. However, the drive also included back-to-back South penalties for holding and pass interference.
Skelton would add a 45-yard field goal with 4:03 left in the second quarter, allowing the North to take a 17-0 lead into the intermission.
It also didn’t take long for the North to go ahead 24-0 in the third quarter. With 9:47 left in the period, Fulton scored on a six-yard run to cap a four-play drive that only covered 39 yards. Golden’s Paris Salas carried the ball on the first play, losing two yards. However, he got those yards back on his next carry.
On the third play of the drive, Fulton would complete a 33-yard pass to Rivas that carried down to the South six. The fourth play, a 6-yard run by Fulton, and the extra point by Skelton would complete the scoring in the game.
For Conifer’s 6-foot, 6-inch defensive end Don Fuller, the North win was double gratifying. Why? It can be considered an early birthday present as he turned 18 on Sunday.
“All the guys worked hard to get here and we just all wanted to play our hearts out,” said Fuller, who will head for the University of Northern Colorado in the fall. “To get a goose egg on defense was great and all the guys are excited. This was such a fine group to complete our high school football careers.”
Marvel had good reason to feel good about his All-State Game appearance.
“This is just a great experience, and being one of our three D’Evelyin guys here makes it all the better,” Marvel said. “Our defense shut them down. We just didn’t let them have anything of note. It was just a great week. Now, for me, it’s on to the School of Mines.”
It also was a fine night for Holy Family’s Daniel Kubistek, who was also up front for the North.
“It was just awesome, as it’s my last football game,” said Kubistek, who now also heads to the University of Northern Colorado. “I wouldn’t trade this for anything with all the great 4A and 5A players down here. I’m going to major in physical therapy and perhaps coach in the future.”
It was a disappointing loss for the South on the field, but not one when it comes to the memories the game and experience will conjure up.
Unfortunately, several of the South players were dissatisfied that they couldn’t come through with any real serious scoring threats. After all, they only managed to reach into North territory four times and only once down to the 20-yard line.
“This was just a wonderful experience to be out here with all these guys, on both sides,” said Thomas Caracena, off the defensive line from The Classical Academy. “Win or lose, this will always be memorable. But of course I wish we could have got on the scoreboard. But it’s a privilege to be considered All-State.”
Chaparral nose guard Isaac Hernandez also agreed the experience can overcome the loss.
“It’s a game with a lot of guys you played against and it’s an experience not many in our lives will be able to enjoy,” Hernandez said. “Win or lose, this was like getting a bit of the college feeling in advance with all the talent that is out here.”
Added Fountain-Fort Carson’s Anthony Davis, “Any time you get to play in a game like this it’s an honor. And playing with the guys from all the various level classifications in the state is great. It just proves there are a lot of fine players from the small and large schools. Just something to always remember.”
Gabriel was joined on the sidelines with the North coaching staff that included Harrison Chisolm of Fort Morgan, Jeremy Bennett of D’Evelyn and Andy Yost of Roosevelt. The South was coached by Zach O’Dell of Pueblo Central, Chris Coppa of Canon City, Matt Flavin of Buena Vista and Mike O’Dwyer of Limon.