Tigers tussle to 16-8 loss against Spray-Wheeler

Monument-Dayville running back Colorado Marciel looks for running room against Spray-Wheeler in the Tigers' game against the Eagles on Friday, Sept. 26.

Spray def. Monument-Dayville 16-8

DAYVILLE - The 11-man Monument-Dayville High School football team put together an inspired performance in Dayville's homecoming game against TriCo League opponent Spray-Wheeler on Friday, Sept. 27, but simply ran out of gas in the fourth quarter, dropping a 16-8 decision to the Eagles.

The loss keeps the Tigers winless on the season at 0-3 and 0-2 in league games.

"The kids played a good game and I'm really proud of the effort they put in," Tigers' coach Brad Drake said. "The whole team played hard, but we just got worn down in the fourth quarter."

Mani Martin got things going for the Tigers at the 4:35 mark of the first quarter picking off an errant pass from Spray-Wheeler quarterback Zane Bruce. The junior defensive back weaved his way through Eagle defenders, broke a couple of tackles, and returned the ball 43 yards to paydirt.

Nathaniel Ashley ran the ball for the 2-point conversion and the Tigers were ahead 8-0.

For the next two and a half quarters, the game belonged to the defense.

Both side choked off drives and the Tigers went into the final 12 minutes of the game still holding on to the 8-0 lead.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Eagles recovered an Ashley fumble giving Spray/Wheeler the ball at the Monument/Dayville 43-yard line.

With 7:35 remaining in the game, Travis Frazier hooked up with Bruce on a 37-yard option pass for the Eagles' first touchdown of the game to make the score 8-6.

Bruce ran for the 2-point conversion and the score was knotted at 8-8.

Another Monument/Dayville turnover, this time on an interception by Frazier, put the Eagles in business at the Tigers' 36-yard line with just over 4 minutes remaining in the game.

Runs by Frazier, Jon Asher and Bruce moved the ball down to the Tigers' 15-yard line and with 3:19 left in the game, Frazier carried the ball in the end zone to give Spray/Wheeler the lead, 14-8.

Bruce hit Asher with the conversion toss upping the margin to 16-8.

With Ashley on the sideline due to an injury, the Tigers started their final drive at their own 22 yard line but were unable to move and after punting the ball away, the Eagles ran out the clock to secure the victory.

Martin gained 45 yards on 15 carries to lead the Tigers who managed 143 yards in total offense.

Frazier had 133 yards on 23 carries for Spray/Wheeler, and Asher had 59 yards on 13 attempts.

Monument/Dayville plays Burnt River in Unity on Friday, Oct. 3. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.

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