Fountain-Fort Carson hosted Pine Creek in high school football action Friday, September 16, 2016 at Guy Barickman Stadium in Fountain. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette

Fountain-Fort Carson defense finishes off another win

Fountain-Fort Carson coach Jake Novotny challenged his defense after week one of the season to put the team on its back.

This time, defensive tackle JR Pearson came up with the winning play.

His strip-sack with less than two minutes remaining was the last of three forced turnovers in the second half as the Trojans (2-2) held on to beat Castle View (1-3) 18-14 Thursday.

Pearson's play came six days after Fountain-Fort Carson finished off Pine Creek (2-2) 10-7 with a goal-line stand in overtime.

"After I saw how we played week one against Ralston Valley I've really kind of leaned on, as a motivational piece, to challenge the defense every week to win the game for us," Novotny said. "The kids that play on that side of the ball really, really, enjoy it.

"That's what was so cool about last night."

Also cool for F-FC: Eric Donnell's 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown right before half that cut the lead to 14-6.

The Trojans' offense then scored two touchdowns in the second half - following an interception and a three-and-out.

"Our team feeds off our defense right now," Novotny said. "It's good in some ways, and it can be frustrating when you can't get anything going on offense."

Fountain-Fort Carson will look to carry its momentum into next week when it faces Doherty (3-1). The Trojans are 5-1 in the series' past six meetings.

Manitou Springs dips into old formula

Manitou Springs got back to its roots and went with a familiar face for its new coach in the offseason.

It's just week four, but it might as well be the good old days for the Mustangs.

Davyn Adamscheck had four touchdowns as Manitou Springs (4-0) beat Englewood (2-2) 55-7 for its fourth straight win Friday night.

The Mustangs held the Pirates to 78 yards of total offense and just five first downs. Englewood returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, but never had a footing in the game after that.

"I think the culture has gone back to what it was three years ago," said coach Cory Archuleta, who took over after Manitou Springs parted ways with Monte Gutowski after two losing seasons.

"I just think with the return of coach (George) Rykovich as the offensive coordinator, some familiarity with some of the coaches and myself who's been around the Manitou athletic program the last 12 or 13 years, I think they're a little more comfortable with what they're doing."

Archuleta is also the school's baseball coach and was an assistant football coach.

Pikes Peak Christian starting to roll

The Pikes Peak Christian program is on the rise after another impressive victory Friday.

The Eagles (3-1) scored 14 points in the fourth quarter to beat West Grand (3-1) 20-8 for their third straight win - matching last year's season-win total. The Mustangs, coached by the state's all-time winningest coach, Chris Brown, meanwhile, lost for the first time in 12 months.

"I think our kids are starting to get some confidence," PPC coach Kelvin Thorne said. "And now they get a little momentum . They feel like they can do it."

Pikes Peak Christian has shown substantial growth in Thorne's second year since his departure as school's coach 10 years ago. The Eagles' 16 underclassmen - most who were under Thorne during his 2012-2015 stint at Pikes Peak Christian Middle School - have been vital in restoring a program that combined for five wins in two years.

"All 16 pretty much play," Thorne said. "Most teams don't have that."

Earlier this season, the Eagles beat Kiowa for the first time in 10 years and followed it with the program's first win over Simla.

Lewis-Palmer's Chea becoming pet-peeve for defenses

Lewis-Palmer's Dieudonne Chea may very well be the state's best running back who you've never heard of.

The first-year starter began the game with a 98-yard TD run and finished with 299 yards and three scores as the Rangers (4-0) beat Pueblo County (2-2) 42-22 on Friday.

Chea leads the state with 821 rushing yards in four games.

"He's really seriously gotten better every week," L-P coach Dustin Tupper said. "He doesn't just get his yards on the edge but between the tackles."

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