Fossil Ridge loses heartbreaker to cross-town rivals


Fossil players getting ready to exit the tunnel

Dylan Heinrich, Sports Writer

On Sep 10, 2021, the Fossil Ridge football team dropped to 0-3 after losing to the Fort Collins Lambkins 34-23.

The game started strong for the Sabercats, as they recovered a fumble on the opening drive and scored a touchdown, taking a 7-0 lead three minutes into the game.

The Lambkins responded immediately, scoring a touchdown less than a minute later off a 72-yard run. Collins got the ball back off a Fossil punt and would score for the 2nd time in. Off a 55-yard run, Fort Collins would take a 14-7 lead, scoring 14 unanswered in 4 minutes time.

Fossil up at the line of scrimmage

Things would go from bad to worse, as Fossil threw an interception at the end of the first quarter. The Lambkins took their time, eventually scoring another touchdown off a bit of trickery, extending their lead to 21-7 early in the second quarter.

Fossil responded with a big drive of their own, capping it off with an 8-yard touchdown QB sneak from Tyler Kubat. 

The Sabercats then recovered another fumble giving themselves another chance to score before halftime. They squandered  this opportunity, turning the ball over right outside the red zone.

Fossil defense after making a stop

Fort Collins was able to drive deep into Fossil territory, but eventually ran out of time and not add any points. Fossil Ridge headed into halftime trailing 21-14, looking to build on the momentum of the 2nd quarter.

The Sabercats came out of the half with a renewed sense of urgency, scoring within two minutes. Tyler Kubat lobbed a ball 30 yards into the end zone caught by wideout Domenic Leone for the touchdown. Fossil missed the extra point, and would remain trailing, 21-20.

Returner Domenic Leone returning a punt

Fossil kept their foot on the gas, forcing the Lambkins to punt and got the ball back at their own 44 yard line. Another long drive ensued, the highlight being another long pass from Kubat to Leone. The Sabercats were forced to settle for a field goal, but would regain the lead 23-21.

Each team would go scoreless in their next three possessions, as Fossil’s successful air game had dried up, and the Lambkins run game had slowed due to the tenacious Sabercat linebackers.

Sabercats defense tackling the Collins running back

The Lambkins eventually got the run game going again, leading a 77 yard drive down the field, scoring what would be the game winning touchdown with three minutes to go. After an unsuccessful two point conversion, the Sabercats were trailing 27-23.

With three minutes to go, Fossil had a sense of urgency and were doing everything in their power to score. However it was not meant to be, as Fossil would turn the ball over on 4th down for the third time in the game.

With another touchdown, the Lambkins would shut the door on the Sabercats, winning the cross town rivalry for the first time since 2017.

Head coach Jeff Fulton was frustrated after the loss.

Coach Fulton calling a play from the sideline

“…bottom line, we didn’t play Sabercat football,” Fulton said. 

Coach Fulton puts a lot of the blame on himself and the coaching staff.

“We did not play well enough to win, we did not coach well enough to win. And that’s on the adults in the program,” Fulton said.

The team will look to take this loss as motivation, and will come out more prepared than ever for their game next Thursday at Eaglecrest.

“I’m glad we’re playing on Thursday, I wish we were playing tomorrow. So that we could come back and get that taste out of our mouths,” Fulton said.