The Trinidad Miners had a week to recalibrate from the loss of quarterback Ethan Duran before its Tri-Peaks League opener against Florence last week.
And on Friday night against the Huskies, the Miners didn’t appear to have adjusted any gears and seemed overwhelmed by an aggressive Huskies squad who had the Miners’ game plan sniffed out on both sides of the ball.
Florence chewed up over 300 yards of total offense and held the Miners to one of their lowest scoring outputs of the year en route to a 29-7 victory.
“We couldn’t get much going,” said head coach Randy Begano. “We had barely over 100-yards of offense, we played disciplined defense against Alamosa last week and this week it was like we never went over anything at all,” he continued.
The Miners were without starting quarterback Ethan Duran, who was forced to sit after suffering a concussion in last week’s homecoming win against Alamosa. Begano noted the absence of the star player definitely played a part in the loss, but said adjustments they made during practice last week should have helped take the pressure off the other guys stepping in. That wasn’t the case, however. “We missed a lot of blocks on offense, especially blocking up in the second level and taking care of their linebackers. They gave us a hard time,” the head coach said.
The loss definitely hurts the Miners in the play off chase as the Tri-Peaks League produces one of the toughest 2-A conferences in the state. Begano said they still have a chance to make a post-season birth, but it wont come easy. With a Tri-Peaks championship pretty much all but gone, the Miners are going need to play perfect and hope for lady luck to be on their side.
“It’s going to be an uphill battle and there’s going to be some outside factors too. We are probably going to have to win out the rest of the schedule and hope we finish ranked inside the top 16,” said Begano.
The Florence loss drops the Miners record to 3-2 on the season (1-1 League). They will be on the road again this week in Lamar for game two of a three game road trip. They’ll wrap up the road trip next Friday in Colorado Springs at St. Mary’s before returning home to finish the season against Manitou Springs on Oct. 23 and La Junta on Oct. 30.
The Savages also comes into the matchup with a 3-2 record and are riding a wave of momentum after dismantling St. Mary’s 49-14 last week. Begano said The Miners will have to play smart, disciplined football in order to come out with a win. One thing they are looking forward to is the hopeful return of Duran under center.
“We should find out about Ethan today or tomorrow. If he’s healthy, that will help a lot, “ said Begano. “We took one step forward and two steps back last week. We can’t afford to do that again this week. We need to get back to what we know how to do, and that’s running the ball and playing tough defense.”