Fossil wraps up fall season as three playoff journeys come to an end

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Receiver Marcus Mozer hauling in a touchdown pass against Regis Jesuit.

Dylan Heinrich, Sports Writer

The Fossil Ridge High School fall athletics season has officially ended with the playoff exits from boys soccer, volleyball, and football.

On Saturday, November 5, the Sabercats boys soccer team lost in the quarter finals to then undefeated Valor Christian 2-1. Fossil was outplayed during the first half, spending the first forty minutes of action almost exclusively on defense. However the score remained even, due to several high quality saves from sophomore goalkeeper Charlie Lewis. 

Lewis making a save during the first half of their game against Valor.

The Sabercats couldn’t hold them off forever, as the Valor Christian Eagles opened the scoring early in the second half on a penalty kick. Now playing from behind, Fossil was having more success getting offensive chances and controlling play. This would eventually pay off, as senior captain Sterling Bellendir broke through to tie the game, scoring his 12th goal of the season and his second of the playoffs.

The celebration didn’t last long, with Valor scoring the game winning goal with less than ten minutes remaining in regulation, ending the Sabercats’ season as Fossil was unable to bounce back.

Despite falling short of their previous result, Fossil Ridge soccer had a season to remember, finishing 11-6-1, 7-2 in conference play, and an impressive 7-2 home record.

Fossil Ridge football was knocked out of the playoffs during their second round matchup against No. 7 Regis Jesuit 63-28. The game started with both teams trading touchdowns, Fossil’s coming on a throw from senior quarterback Tyler Kubat to senior wide receiver/kicker/punter Bryce Olson.

Senior Domenic Leone after catching a touchdown pass late in the team’s road playoff test.

Things quickly took a turn, as Regis quickly scored 35 unanswered points to take a five touchdown lead late in the first half. Fossil put a dent into their lead with a hail mary touchdown from Kubat to sophomore Marcus Mozer.

The Sabercats received to start the second half, scoring another touchdown pass, this time to senior Domenic Leone. Another Regis scoring barrage left the Fossil defense lost, as the team trailed 63-21 early in the fourth quarter. The last hoorah came on Kubat’s fourth passing touchdown to senior Trek Keyworth.

Despite missing nearly half the season, Kubat capped the year with over 2,000 passing yards and 23 total touchdowns. 

This loss capped off the best season in Fossil football history. The team finished the year 9-3, earning themselves the 10 seed and winning their first 5A home playoff game.

Sabercat volleyball wrapped up their seasons after picking up two wins in the state tournament, before being eliminated. 

Volleyball players Maya Siple, Nicole Grove, and Erin Hermann during their match against Rocky Mountain.

Fossil qualified for the state tournament after winning the 5A Region 9 tournament, sweeping both Ponderosa and Eaglecrest en route to the big dance. Things started off equally smooth at the state tournament in Denver, with the Sabercats defeating Chatfield in a five set thriller (25-16,25-23,21-25,22-25,15-12). 

Unfortunately in the second round Fossil ran into the undefeated and eventual state champion Valor Christian Eagles. The team was swept quickly to end their first day of competition 1-1.

The Sabercats bounced back the next day, defeating Cherokee Trail 3-2 in a nail biting elimination matchup. Unfortunately the team’s season would end as Fossil was swept by Rampart later that day, eliminating the Sabercats from the tournament just short of the semifinals.

Fossil Ridge will look back on the season favorably, finishing 21-8 and winning the Front Range League with a 12-1 conference record, and making their first state tournament since 2018.

With the curtains called on fall sports and a state championship trophy added to the case, the entire Fossil Ridge community turn their heads towards the winter season, beginning right after Thanksgiving break.