PUEBLO — Confused spectators watched as Palmer Ridge quarterback Luke McAllister hung on the sideline as the Bears came out for their first offensive series.
Rather than give the Eagles a look at a pro-style pocket passer to start things off, coach Tom Pulford opted to get things rolling with Anthony Roberson taking the snaps. The Swiss Army Knife of the Bears, Roberson shined on his feet and through the air in the first quarter to trigger a 41-0 Palmer Ridge win at Dutch Clark Stadium.
"It's always fun to win and I'm really proud of how our team stepped up and came together," Roberson said. "It's really promising to see that we're starting to get back to that close tight knit football team early in the season."
Roberson got Class 3A No. 1 Palmer Ridge (2-0 overall) on the board with a gem of an 18-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Costanzo. He followed it up the following drive with a 12-yard touchdown run.
Still in the first quarter, he struck again through the air, finding Kaden Dudley from 31-yards out. Dudley clinched the ball and despite it coming loose after a few steps in the end zone, the officials deemed he held it long enough to count as a catch.
In the blink of an eye, the Bears has a three-touchdown lead.
The No. 8 Eagles (1-2) tried to get receiver Marvin London Jr. involved in the game early, but the Bears were for everything the Eagles tried to throw at them. They eventually shifted the game plan to focus on a ground attack between Orly Mondragon and Noah Rivera, but the duo only managed to break over 60 combined yards in the first half.
The Palmer Ridge defense also struck big as Kieran Fry hauled in an interception that he took to the house for the first defining moment of his Palmer Ridge career.
"I just transferred here," Fry said. "I know this team can do a lot and I just want to help and see what I can do to help."
Roberson added to his his highlight reel by hauling in a touchdown pass from McAllister, who entered the game in the second quarter.
"We got an early edge on them and once we did and they started to adjust, why not throw in our Division I quarterback," Roberson said.
All told, Roberson combined for about 200 yards of offense from either throwing, running or receiving. His night alone serves as the perfect metaphor for the complete game the Bears put together against the team they beat to win the 3A title last year.
"All three phases of the game are important for us, and we need to continue to get better in all three phases," Pulford said. "But tonight we saw some things start to come together."
Palmer Ridge hosts Sand Creek in its homecoming game next week before heading back to Pueblo to face the No. 6 Pueblo South Colts. That game will be played at the Neta and Eddie DeRose Thunderbowl at CSU-Pueblo.
The Eagles are back at Dutch Clark next Friday night as they host 4A No. 4 Pueblo West.