TORRINGTON — The Mountain View Buffalos and the Torrington Trailblazer match looked to be a challenging match for both teams as they each entered the field with a 7-2 conference record and were both #1 in their respective regions.
Both had lost a game to a 3A program (Torrington to Douglas, Mountain View to Evanston), which left both teams with only one conference loss as they stepped on the gridiron to compete last Friday at Wiseman Field in Torrington. The winner of this game was to move onto the state championship game against the Lyman Eagles, who had upended the Upton-Sundance Patriots by more than a double score.
As the game between the two #1 seeds played out under the lights and with Mountain View as the defending state champion, Torrington notched the win, 31-20, and moved on to the championship game, which they will host tomorrow. This is the first season Torrington moved down to the 2A division.
The Buffalos were dealing with the injury bug. As it turned out Trailblazer quarterback Beau Bivens broke his ankle in this semi-final round game. Before getting hurt, he threw 3 touchdown passes and is a big reason why the Blazers now find themselves in the 2A championship game this Friday vs. Lyman. Torrington is now 8-2 and Mountain View's season comes to an end at 7-3. The Buffalos also won the 2A title in 2017 and finished second in 2018.
“Although our season obviously ended sooner than we wanted it to and we all disappointed from last week's loss, I am very, very proud of this team and the season we had,” MVHS head coach Brent Walk said Tuesday morning. “Again, words can't explain just how proud I am of these young men...they are amazing both on and off the field."
As for the challenge between the two teams, the Buffalos kicked off for the start of the game. Torrington couldn’t gain yardage on their possession, and the Buffalos took control of the ball.
The teams exchanged possession several times Torrington managed to drive downfield, snagged a 42- yard pass at the 5-yard line and carried the ball into the end zone putting 6 points on the board. It was followed by a PAT by Chase Smith, and now Torrington led 7-0 with 5:17 left in the first quarter.
Torrington QB Trace Floyd went out to kick and cinched a 37 yard field goal to put another three on the board, 10-0.
Mountain View marched up the field in the last few minutes of the first quarter,
but the time ran out before they could score so the score at the end of the first was 10-0 in favor of Torrington.
Bryson Walker picked up a first down within a yard of the goal line. He was handed the ball and carried it into the end zone for a TD for Mountain View. The PAT by Teancum Pickkola was good, and the Buffs were on the board with seven points.
Torrington responded with a long run up the side. As Torrington marched up the Trace Floyd received a handoff in the backfield and carried the ball into the end zone. It was followed by a PAT and the Trailblazers led 17-7.
MV’s Petersen passed to Schofield who run up the side and carried the ball in for a touchdown. The PAT didn’t score but the Buffalos had added another 6 points to their score.
Torrington responded with a touch down, used a fake for a PAT and carried the ball across the line for a 2-point conversion. Halftime score, 25-13, in favor of Torrington.
As they competed in the third following the halftime break, Mountain View added on touchdown and PAT to the board. Schofield aced a 99-yard kickoff return to cross into the end zone. This was accompanied by a PAT by Piekkola. Torrington responded and added six point to their score with a 53-yard pass by Beau Bivens to Keiser Wolf who captured the ball and scored by going into the end zone. This touchdown pass by Bivens ended his run this year as he broke his ankle in the third
Back on the field in the fourth quarter, both teams buckled down and kept each other from putting any points on the board. Proved to be a defensive battle by both teams so the game played out with the final score the same as at the end of the third quarter.