Horizon athletes exhibited the passing skills as they advanced to the final four before losing to eventual champion Columbine at the annual Bronco 7-on-7 tournament held June 12 through the 16. …
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Horizon athletes exhibited the passing skills as they advanced to the final four before losing to eventual champion Columbine at the annual Bronco 7-on-7 tournament held June 12 through the 16.
“While we are pretty good at the skill positions we are a young team, particularly our up front with only one returning offensive linemen,” Hawks Coach Frank Ybarra said during the June 14 tournament session. “However, we have a solid group of defensive backs and receivers and a veteran quarterback.
“Those are the guys we will see on the field in the 7-on-7 games. They are pretty good and we should do pretty well.”
High school football teams take part in 7-on-7 to sharpen their player’s aerial offensive and defensive skills in the all-passing competition.
However, the receiver can gain additional gain yardage running the ball after catching a pass until he is touched by a defender.
It is supposed to be non-contact but there are heavy collisions when the defender and receiver both go for the ball.
The game is played on a 50-yard field and a team has to gain 20 yards for a first down. Teams earn seven points for a touchdown and three points for an interception.
The teams play two 10-minute halves.
The first half is a running clock and the clock stops in the final two minutes of the second half for first downs or when a ball carrier goes out of bounds.
Teams at the Bronco tournament were divided into four-team pools with the pool winner advancing to the playoffs June 17 at the Dove Valley complex.
Horizon played hard and went 2-1 in pool play. They were tied for the pool lead and advanced to the single-elimination playoffs June 16 at Dove Valley because they scored more points than Johnstown’s Roosevelt High School, the other team with a 2-1 record in the pools.
The Hawks on June 16 advanced to the quarterfinals of the 16-team single elimination bracket before losing to Columbine, the team that went on to win the tournament championship.
“Looking ahead to the fall we’ll have some growing pains but we continue to be blessed with several good running backs returning and our quarterback will also be back with us,” the coach said. “While are primarily a running team, our quarterback Matt Francis had about a 55 percent completion rate last season so opponents can’t overlook our passing game.”
Francis said his goal is have an outstanding season since this is his senior year.
“I have always been a quarterback and I feel my strengths are being a good pocket passer as well as making plays on my feet,” he said. “I am a jack of all trades when it comes to making long as well as short throws. I can run the ball if necessary but my focus is completing the passes to my receivers. My goals for this season are to stay healthy and do all I can to help our team win football games.”
Looking to the future after graduation he said it is his desire to continue to play football in college.
Francis said he hasn’t selected a school yet but he has a good academic record and is talking to a number of colleges including some in the Ivy League.
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