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Young's 297 yards, five touchdowns help Doherty bust into the win column vs. rival Palmer
Zach Young stood on the sidelines for the entire fourth quarter, all the while just 3 rushing yards shy of 300.
The Doherty junior didn’t protest, and his coach had no intention of putting him back on the field. It’s as though both were fully aware that brighter days are on the way.
Young piled up touchdown runs of 23, 90, 68, 30 and 35 on the way to 297 rushing yards as Doherty broke into the win column with a 51-0 victory over rival Palmer on Friday at Garry Berry Stadium.
“Just getting ready for next year,” Young said.
Doherty (1-8, 1-5 5A Pioneer) had been building toward this. The Spartans suffered two-point losses Castle View and Heritage and trailed Fountain-Fort Carson by just a touchdown in the second half. But the young team – nine non-seniors start on offense – hadn’t tasted a victory yet.
“We were always having one or two mistakes on each play that just limited us,” first-year coach David Joyce said. “Tonight we kind of put it all together.
“If we can get one next week it will really build into next year. We have so many underclassmen playing that it will just propel our offseason into next year and get us going in the right direction.”
Matt Huerta and Matt Lindley also scored touchdowns for Doherty, Alexis Charles added a 32-yard field goal and Taylor Denny – a goalie on the girls’ soccer team – converted 6-of-7 PATs in her first football game.
Everything went the direction of the Spartans on Friday, as they outgained Palmer 467-11 in total yards. The Terrors (0-9, 0-6) gained just one first down that wasn’t the result of a penalty, and the Spartans had three scoring drives that took two or fewer plays.
Palmer is 2-18 as a program since notching its first 5A playoff victory in 2010.
“We have one more game, that’s one more shot to get a victory and send these guys out right,” said first-year coach Justin Rich, who was an assistant on the 2010 team. “It’s not going to be an overnight thing. There’s a lot of rebuilding to do from the past two years. There’s no excuses to be made, but these seniors have had four coaches in the past four years. They had a freshman coach, they had Rod (Baker), they had (Doug) Miolen and they’ve had me. There’s just no continuity.”
With Young – who gained at least 280 yards for the third time in his short career – Doherty has a cornerstone to its building project. Like the program as a whole, he’s fully cognizant of the program’s direction. So he was wise to butter up the guys who will be putting in the work along with him.
“I just want to thank my linemen,” he said. “It was up to them.”
If this momentum is to continue, it will be up to all of the Spartans.