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The City Journals

Cottonwood football comes up short agains 3A power Summit Academy

Sep 09, 2021 11:24AM ● By Brian Shaw

By Brian Shaw | [email protected]

In Cottonwood’s highly anticipated season opener and rematch—one the Colts specifically trained for in a one-week summer camp—they allowed two early touchdowns to 3A Summit Academy on Aug. 13 en route to a closer-than-it-looked 38-20 loss, said head coach Casey Miller. 

“It was a good game. A one-score game until eight minutes left,” said Miller. “We just ran out of juice.”

Last year, when Summit got out early on the Colts, it stayed ahead for good. But in this game, the Colts got a boost from Adan Cage, a move-in who will play both ways this season. He had an interception return for a touchdown, and with the point after from Jamal Lomax the Colts only trailed 14-7 after one quarter. 

Still within striking distance, according to the head coach, and even after Summit Academy stretched the lead to 21-7, the Colts showed that swagger they picked up during that weeklong summer camp as wide receiver/defensive back Dominic Chidester tossed a pass for a touchdown. That score after the missed PAT narrowed the Summit Academy lead to 21-13. Not bad for a Colts team that is accustomed to watching schools with larger rosters build huge leads by the half. 

By the third quarter, however, the Colts deficit grew to 28-13 after Summit Academy scored on a quarterback keeper. But they wouldn’t quit, added Miller. Quarterback Brock Simpson, who the head coach is really high on going into the season, showed his big-game experience on a 2-yard sneak of his own to keep the Colts within striking distance of last year’s 3A quarterfinalists, 28-20. 

But in that fourth quarter the depth of Summit Academy stood out, according to Miller, and his kids just ran out of gas. 

“It was close,” he said. “We need to fix a lot of little mistakes, but the kids have been receptive to what we saw and didn't like on film.” 

The positives the Colts take going into their second game at Carbon are these: Simpson is the guy at quarterback, having completed 12 of 30 passes for 121 yards and had a rushing touchdown. All those years in which the 510 junior has taken his lumps, swallowing blowout losses behind undersized offensive lines appear to be over. 

Junior Nick Bean had six catches for 74 yards, including some tough grabs over the middle. In addition to the highlight reel pick six, Adan Cage had two grabs for 16 yards and Curtis Straup had the lone receiving touchdown for the Colts. 

On the ground, highly touted running back Jamal Lomax had six carries for 23 yards and added the Colts’ only PAT for an offense that Miller stressed must improve over the next two games. He did, however, like the performance of sophomore offensive lineman Camryn Moran. 

Defensively, the Colts hung with one of Class 3A’s giants for three-plus quarters before the depth at the skill positions took over for Summit Academy, and that was the difference. Overall, there were some bright spots for Miller, one of which was Cage, the move-in who had two interceptions and 10 total tackles for the Colts. Straup added a 60-yard interception return as well. 

The other standout according to the head coach was offensive/defensive lineman Luke Davis. The lone holdover from the line that started last year, went 4-5 and had the Colts’ best season in over a decade. Davis had 11 total tackles, a third of what he had for last season. 

Next up for the Colts [0-1] is a long bus ride, the first of several on the year, on Aug. 20 at Carbon. It should be a great game considering the Colts eked out a tough win at home over Carbon last season. The Colts then travel to Providence Hall on Aug. 27 for another rematch, one the Colts also won last year.