COLORADO SPRINGS — Finally healthy and feeling at home in Class 4A, Fountain-Fort Carson football looks like the real deal.
From the time Q. Jones took his first touch 50 yards for a touchdown to fending off an attempted Vista Ridge comeback late in the first half to beat the Wolves 61-28, the Trojans look the best they have in years.
This is something head coach Jake Novotny can get used to.
"Our ceiling is as high as we want it to be," Novotny said. "If we continue to practice like we've been practicing and believing like we've been believing, anything's possible. Our culture has turned a corner from these last five years and I'm proud of these kids."
Speaking of turning corners, Jones turned plenty of them as he got around defenders and ended with a monster day. He carried the ball 29 times for 309 yards and five touchdowns.
He missed most of last season with lingering issues from a leg injury suffered during his sophomore year, but he plans on taking advantage of every second he's able to get on the field and show why he's one of the elite running backs in the entire state.
"Every game is the game I've been waiting for," Jones said. "It's just a blessing to be out here and playing again. It feels good."
He carried the ball just eight times a week ago and through eight carries on Friday he had totaled 111 yards and two scores that had the Class 4A No. 9 Trojans (2-0 overall, 1-0 4A Southern League) up 14-0.
The challenge with Vista Ridge (1-1, 0-1) was sophomore quarterback Brayden Dorman. With an arm like his, the Wolves can explode at any moment meaning no lead in the game was safe. Dorman showed that when he found Keyon Burris for a 33-yard touchdown pass then Kyshawn Bridges for a 20-yard touchdown pass to cut the FFC lead to 27-14 before halftime.
"Sixteen is a good player," Novotny said. "We knew (the Vista Ridge offense) would go through him and our kids rose to the challenge."
The key for the Trojans was making Dorman uncomfortable early. Curtis Jackson and TaShon Smith picked Dorman off well before he threw his first touchdown pass. Jackson got a second pick in the second half and Tai Faavae added one as well to go with a touchdown run of his own in the third quarter.
"We knew that Brayden was going to be one of the top guys we play this year," Faavae said. "Especially since he's real well-known in Colorado. The whole week we were just focusing on getting pressure on him. We know they're a passing school and all their receivers are solid."
As much hype that can be made over Jones' 300-plus yard performance, perhaps equally impressive was the Trojans holding a Dorman-led offense to just 28 points.
"We're well-rounded," Novotny pointed out.
And for the first time as head coach of the program, his team is 2-0 to start the season. And the boys on the roster have to intention of letting up.
"We're going to keep striving for greatness," Jones said. "We want to win week by week and just keep going. We're chasing a state title just like everyone else is."