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Zero Week not kind to Bluedevils

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Fort Lupton gets rude awakening in early season opener loss against Centaurus

By Steve Smith

LAFAYETTE — Owen Mellen combined the traits of two sports Aug. 22.

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The Fort Lupton senior was a wide receiver pressed into service as the tallest player in several “jump-ball” passing situations for the Fort Lupton football team.

By and large, it worked. Mellen, who is 6 feet 6 inches tall, caught seven passes for 98 yards and the Bluedevils’ only touchdown (from sophomore quarterback Elijah Vargas) as Centaurus rolled to a 46-6 win.

“That was tiring, for one,” he said. “We had a missed block here and a missed assignment over here. We did the best we could every time.”

One thing the Bluedevils couldn’t correct was their mistakes. There were five of them, and Centaurus’ Matt Buchler was only too happy to take two of them to the end zone for scores.

“If we lost by 40 and thought we did everything right, we’d be in serious trouble,” FLHS coach Joseph Herrera said. “There are a lot of things that we can correct and we will correct. A game like this won’t happen for us again.”

Vargas completed 12 of 23 passes for 128 yards in his first varsity start. Jordan Torrez ran for 91 yards on 11 carries. On the Warriors’ side of the ledger, Buchler finished with 106 rushing yards and a touchdown. Matthew Axelrod rushed for 99 yards and scored three times.

“We showed a lot of heart,” Mellen said. “We had a lot of mishaps. We showed that we can hang with them. It was the little mistakes that got us.”

“We saw some glimpses of what this team can be,” Herrera said. “We would have liked it to go the other way. We aren’t discouraged. We’re not ready to give up.”

Because Fort Lupton played in what’s called Zero Week, the Bluedevils have to take a week off sometime during the rest of the season. That bye week is this week.

“That’s the bad part about playing this early in the year. We could have used another week of practice to prepare for this game,” Herrera said. “We’ll take advantage of this week. We’ll have a good two weeks of practice. We’ll be ready to turn this one around.”