PUEBLO WEST — In order to come away with a league championship, Pueblo West was going to have to slow down the top-ranked rushing attack in Class 4A. Throwing in a few trick plays wouldn’t hurt either.
The No. 8 Cyclones did just that and got a big second half out of running back Kyle Jameson to beat No. 10 Rampart 28-21 and come away with the Pikes Peak title.
Jameson ran for three touchdowns in the second half, but it was his throwing touchdown in the second that initially got West (8-2 overall, 5-0 Pikes Peak) on the board. The trick plays were something that coach Clint Buderus knew he was going to need to take down a tough, physical Rampart team.
“We’ve been saving them and we haven’t had to use them,” Buderus said. “There’s a few more in the book still, but we had to use everything we had tonight.”
Cade Cormaney ran in for a short touchdown to put Rampart up 7-0 in the closing minutes of the first quarter. After Jameson’s touchdown pass tied things up, Chris Yoo punched one in to give the Rams (7-3, 4-1) the lead once again before halftime.
In the second half, the Cyclones leaned heavily on Jameson. His first rushing touchdown of the night cut the lead to 14-13, but the Cyclones botched the snap on the extra point and couldn’t tie the game.
But the defense stepped up and got West the ball back. They went right back to Jameson who found the end zone once again.
“I’m always leaning on my offensive linemen,” Jameson said. “We never look at the score, we never think about it, we just try to play and drive the ball down the field.”
West took a full touchdown lead after running a flea-flicker to convert on the two-point try. Buderus could only laugh when thinking about it.
“We’ve used those for a few years now (in La Junta),” he said. “We just needed it and we executed it.”
The Rams were able to tie the game in the fourth quarter on Yoo’s second rushing touchdown of the night. But Jameson and the Cyclones offense was able to answer with 4:31 left.
The Rams had one final chance to drive the field and either tie or take the lead. With just under two to play Cormaney took a shot at the end zone, but Cyclones cornerback Tyler Declusion was able to position himself in front and come down with the interception.
“That’s the game, that’s the title, go get it,” Declusion said. “It’s not going into that guy’s hands, it’s going in mine.”
The Cyclones are now assured a spot in the 4A playoffs. The Rams were sitting right on the cusp of the cutoff line in the RPI ratings and will await the release of the 4A bracket on Sunday.
Although the Cyclones were likely in the playoffs regardless, Buderus still stressed the importance of this game to his guys.
“We want to host,” he said.
With a league championship in hand, they may have gotten their wish.