Snowflake lacked the execution and discipline they were hoping for on Friday night in their season opener against the Bulldogs of Safford High School. Despite winning the game 22-7, Snowflake head coach Kay Solomon said, “It was a good start but we had a lot of first game mistakes and a lot to clean up.” He indicated that receiving fewer penalties will be a priority for them in upcoming games. They threw two interceptions and fumbled six times. In five of the six fumbles they were able to recover the ball.
Even though Snowflake was not as sharp as they had hoped to be, there were a lot of bright spots to be happy about. Snowflake put up 137 yards rushing and 115 yards receiving and scored 3 touchdowns.
Snowflake’s new Quarterback Ethan Ramage completed 75 percent of passes going 15 of 20, but also threw 2 interceptions and no touchdowns. His favorite target was Senior Receiver Luke Patterson who caught 6 passes for 42 yards. Senior Running Back David Brimhall preformed well carrying the ball 10 times for 84 yards and 2 touchdowns. Brimhall made his presence known early in the game and will likely be the Lobos’ go-to Back this season. His combination of size, (5’10”, 195 lb) speed, and agility was difficult for Safford to stop, as he averaged 8.4 yards per carry. He also caught 3 passes for 34 yards.
Perhaps the biggest bright spot of the night was the Snowflake defense. They were dominant. They held Safford scoreless until the final play of the game. They had 2 interceptions and a fumble recovery, and they also deflected 7 passes. Snowflake Linebacker Traegon Standerfer led the way defensively for the Lobos with a team high 10 tackles and a sack. David Brimhall had 9 tackles and Luke Patterson had 8. Brydon Hatch, Jesse Sparks, Brennen Beatty, and Jake Christensen each had 7 tackles. Justin White was credited with 2 of the team’s 5 sacks on the night.
The Lobos face a big test this Friday as the Chargers of Benjamin Franklin High School come to town. When azcentral.com came out with their pre-season rankings in July they had Snowflake ranked #7 and the Chargers were not even in the top 10, which is surprising given the Chargers success in 2017. They made it to the Semifinals last year, but lost to Pusch Ridge. After the first week of games they are now ranked #7 and Snowflake has moved up a spot to #6. The chargers opened the season this past Saturday at the Dome in Round Valley with a 63-3 win over the Hornets of Ganado.