Fourth-ranked Pueblo West football secured a league title with a win over Rampart on Friday night.
The Cyclones, now 5-0 in the Pikes Peak League, beat the Rams 28-14 behind senior Matt Rudd’s three touchdowns.
“He’s a good kid,” said Cyclones head coach Clint Buderus. “He’s been kind of banged up all year and he’s finally starting to get healthy. He’s a great weapon for us (and) we probably need to get him the ball a little bit more.”
Rampart (5-5 overall, 4-1 Pikes Peak) struck first just four minutes into the game, but Pueblo West answered back five minutes later when Rudd scored his first touchdown of the night. The Cyclones preserved the drive by executing a fake punt on 4th and 11 just a couple minutes beforehand.
Rudd rushed for his second touchdown in the second quarter and a Cyclones kickoff return to the Rams’ 19-yard line set up a touchdown pass to senior Dawson Menegatti.
“Keeping the ball away from (Rampart’s) offense was a big impact on winning this game,” Rudd said. “The more time went off the clock, the better chance we have of winning.”
The Rams were able to draw within a possession after junior Cale Cormaney scored on a quarterback keeper, but a 43-yard rush from senior Chandler Mason on a quarterback keeper of his own took Pueblo West into the red zone, where Rudd punched in his third of the night to ice the game.
“Our linemen are doing great,” Rudd said. “They work hard at practice and that’s the only reason why I had such a successful night.”
“I think our kids just played well,” added Buderus. “Our offense answered the bell and tied it up and kind of never looked back.”
Pueblo West will now turn its attention to the postseason.
“Stay(ing) calm is the key to a being the victory team and going far in the playoffs,” Rudd said. “If you get nervous, then things go the wrong way.”
“We found out we can win a tight game,” said Buderus. “Everything so far has been lopsided one way or the other (so) it was good for us to play a full four quarter game and have to grind it out and win it at the end.”