#1 Erie knocks off #10 Pueblo South

#1 Erie knocked off 10th ranked defending 4A state champion Pueblo South by a score of 35-14 on Friday night.

Grayson Blalock, Sports Editor

PUEBLO- Erie won the toss and chose to defer. Pueblo South brought out the kickoff and immediately started driving downfield. However, running back Connor Huth fumbled on a carry up the middle. Huth lost the ball and Adam

Erie then began slowly and methodically driving down the field without Noah Roper. The star running back/safety broke his nose making a tackle before the fumble and had it popped back into place before he came into the game on Erie’s next defensive series.

With Roper out, Tyler Gardner got the bulk of his 14 carries. He, and occasionally Cameron Crooks, ran the ball down the field.

It was Mendoza who finished the drive off with a 9 yard keeper for his first run of the night. Julian Custine buried the PAT to make it 7-0 Erie.

South’s next drive would go through the end of the first quarter. They managed to get into Erie territory, but a stout Tiger defense forced a punt.

Erie would drive down the field much in the same fashion as the last time, with two major differences. They had Roper and they moved much faster.

Roper cleaned up the drive with a one-yard hammer of a touchdown run with 9:46 left in the second quarter.

Erie’s defense would force South to punt again on the next drive.

Erie went back down and did the exact same thing that they had done on the previous two drives. It may not be the most creative gameplan in the world, but there’s no need to fix what isn’t broken.

Roper capped off the drive in almost the same fashion: he bulled his way in from two yards out. Custine missed the PAT, his first of the year. The score was 20-0 Erie going into halftime.

On the first drive of the second half, Roper did something that he usually doesn’t do: he fumbled. South picked it up and took it for a touchdown for their first score of the night.

On the next drive, Roper didn’t fumble. He and Erie methodically drove down the field yet again. Roper would bury his way into the endzone from four yards out, and then run for the 2 point conversion as well to make the score 28-7 with 2:18 remaining in the third quarter.

South would score again on a touchdown pass to Cedric Tillman at the beginning of the fourth quarter. They wouldn’t score again.

Erie would drive down the field one last time to score with 6 minutes left. This score was Roper’s longest touchdown run of the night from 10 yards out setting the score at what would be the final: 35-14

Both teams would trade punts after the touchdown. On Erie’s punt, Nate Hackney booked it down the field to lay a devastating fumble forcing hit on South’s returner at the 10 yard line. Erie would run out the clock from there.

You can watch the archived livestream HERE.

Elsewhere in 3A Football:


#2 Palmer Ridge def. Cañon City 70-35

#3 Pueblo East def. Longmont (4A) 42-26

#4 Palisade def. #7 Durango 20-3


Skyline (4A #10) def. #5 Mesd 41-21

#6 Holy Family def. Glenwood Springs 57-35

#9 Discovery Canyon def. Roosevelt 31-8




Gavin Mendoza

2-2, 24 yards



Noah Roper

27 car, 191 yards, 4 TD

Gavin Mendoza

7 car, 44 yards, 1 TD

Tyler Gardner

14 car, 38 yards

Ian Vera

2 car, 7 yards

Cameron Crooks

6 car, 4 yards



Isaac Khanna

1 rec, 15 yards

Ian McDonald

1 rec, 9 yards



Noah Roper

1 KR, 16 yards

Auguson Saless

1 KR, 21 yards



Noah Roper

207 yards

Gavin Mendoza

68 yards