One game doesn’t make a season

By John Hall
The Surveyor

Last Friday night, as the game clock hit zeros at halftime, the Berthoud High School (BHS) Spartans football team saw its 6-point deficit just seconds earlier expand to 14 points. No. 6 Holy Family Tigers (5-1) and Berthoud (5-1) battled for 95 plays in the first half and played 163 overall, but it was the last few plays to end the first half and the third play of the second half that took a close, one-possession game and swung it into a three-touchdown advantage for the Tigers.

Berthoud couldn’t find the formula to stop Holy Family or score the rest of the second half and suffered a difficult 56-14 loss. Berthoud scored its second touchdown on the night in the last minute of the half to tighten the game at 20-14 and, with Berthoud receiving the second half kickoff, there was optimism for Spartans Nation. But within a combined 60 seconds of the end of the first half and beginning of the second half the optimistic air got sucked right out of the stadium for the team and fans from the 80513.

However, one game cannot dictate a season. The Spartans remain in the hunt for a league title, albeit with a little help down the stretch. With only one loss on their schedule to date, they have a chance to put together one of the best BHS seasons in seven years. The 2007 and 2008 Spartans teams both had two losses in the regular season and made loud statements in the playoffs. The 2007 team found their rhythm and peaked at the end of the season and won the state title; the 2008 team made it to the state semi-finals.

As is always the case, the next game against the No. 10 ranked Mead Mavericks (5-1) is the most important game of the year. Mead has been in the state’s top-10 rankings multiple times this season and comes into the game with the No. 5 scoring defense in the state. Last season Berthoud beat Mead 28-21 in the final minute of play. Mead plays a swarming defense much like Berthoud’s and has over nine players with 25 tackles or more, and four of those have 40-plus tackles.

The Mavericks boast one of the best running backs in the state in senior Dane Myers. The quick and elusive 5’9″, 160-pound ball carrier rushed for 1,123 yards last season and has sights set on matching those numbers this year. Last year Berthoud held Myers to a season-low 55 yards rushing and must repeat that kind of performance to give them a better chance at winning their sixth game this season.

Any team with aspirations of success during their season has to put a single loss behind them, learn from the experience and get better week to week. For Berthoud to play their best football in all three phases of the game – offense, defense and special teams – in the last half of the season is a key to the team’s success.

The Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) wild-card points will be published after this weekend’s seventh game of the season. The wild-card points are a computer-generated scoring system based on a team’s wins/losses and quality of each opponent. These points are used to seed teams in the playoffs.

Berthoud needs quality wins over quality opponents to help boost its wild-card points as they march into the final four games of the season.

Mead offers that kind of opponent.

The Spartans have the opportunity to put together a very special season, but that will take every player playing to the utmost of their ability and to reflect on what it takes to win and how disappointing a loss feels, and to learn from both.