Football: Sabercats lose Game 1 of the 2021 season


Fossil entering the field before the game.

Dylan Heinrich, Sports Writer

The Fossil Ridge Football team lost their season opener 21-3 to the Ralston Valley Mustangs on August 26, 2021. 

Fossil started the game strong with a long drive, highlighted by a great catch from #12 Mac Busteed. The Sabercats were stopped in the red zone, ending the drive in a field goal.

Mac Busteed bringing in a catch at the 22 yard line.

Putting up the first points in the game, fans were loud and back in force after not being able to attend for the entire 2020 season. 

Ralston Valley stormed back with a time consuming drive of their own. The Mustangs were able to break into the end zone with a run up the middle.

The second quarter had shorter drives with less scoring opportunities for both teams. The best scoring opportunity happened when Ralston quarterback fumbled the ball when sacked, which Fossil pounced on. 

Fossil recovering a fumble in Ralston territory.

Starting 30 yards from the end zone, the Sabercats looked to score their first touchdown of the season. Fossil was eventually stopped inside the 10 yard line by a stout Mustang defense. The Sabercats ended up turning the ball over on downs at the one yard line.

Fossil entered halftime in a good place, only trailing 7-3.

Ralston Valley got the ball to start the 2nd half, and wasted no time getting down the field. Using an attack of options and tosses, the Mustangs were able to create enough space to gain several first downs. After a second Mustangs touchdown, Fossil Ridge found themselves losing 14-3.

Fossil Ridge and Ralston Valley lining up inside the 10-yard line.

The Saber cats went 3-and-out on their next possession, giving the ball right back to Ralston. The Mustangs then began to march back in Fossil territory. The Saber cats fought back, forcing another fumble to take the ball back.

The teams traded defensive possessions, before Ralston Valley got the ball back and began to put pressure on the Fossil defense. The Mustangs scored again, this time on a long pass touchdown cracking the Saber cats secondary. 

Fossil would get three more red zone drives during the rest of the game but were unable to score. Two would end in turnovers on downs, while the final drive would be intercepted by Ralston Valley. 

The Mustangs ended the game after the interception, winning 21-3.

The Fossil team meeting after the game.

Fossil played a tough opponent and put forward a strong first outing.

The Saber cats offense was able to move downfield, using their strong run game to cut through the Mustang defense.

The defense was a strong point, causing two big turnovers during the course of the game. 

The biggest struggle for Fossil Ridge was the red zone. After 5 trips, the Saber cats were only able to put three points on the board. In contrast, Ralston Valley had 2 trips and 14 points. 

Fossil will look to improve their record to 1-1 as they face the Windsor Wizards in Windsor on September 3.