Friday I had a chance to watch Pueblo West vs. Montrose. The West versus Montrose battle between top 10 teams saw the Indians prevail 23-14 in their usual style of strong run game and solid defense. Each year Montrose gets over looked but they always play great football.
For Montrose I'm a big fan of junior FB/DL Mike Rocha. At 6-0 205 Rocha is an old school I formation fullback who always gets positive yards. He runs with great pad level and has surprising speed. Due to this, Rocha is very good near the goal line having already scored ten times in the young season. Further, he is a good lead blocker. It is not a big part of the Montrose offense, but I would like to see how Rocha catches the ball. For sure he is a player I will keep an eye on over the next couple of seasons.
Long time Montrose starter Angelo Youngren, one of 4As top backs, has focused on the defensive side of the ball after compiling 188 yards in a week one win. Youngren had a late game pick Friday night to help Montrose secure the win.
For Pueblo West the player I had my eye on was giant 2014 offensive guard Keith Hed. Hed, at 6-7 280 pounds obviously has DI size and as such has attracted college attention. As is often the case for the biggest kid on the field at the high school level, Hed has a tendency to play tall losing pad level and leverage.Because he is so big he was still able to push his opponent around. West, realizing Hed's advantage, moves him from left to right guard to get the inevitable push in the run game. He is a force as a head's up, base blocker, but struggles or is unwilling at times to go get a piece of the play at the next level. I would love to see this manster put the fear in backers and defensive backs. West rarely passes and it shows in Hed's footwork when he is asked to pass block. At the next level Hed, who holds offers from Colorado State, Northern Colorado and Wyoming, is a right tackle or guard. Hed is a college project, but his size makes him very well worth a look.
Also, I would be remiss if I did not mention Pueblo West defensive tackle Trevor Encinias. The 6-0 225 pounder plays in the trenches despite not having a leg. Encinias, a wrestler, uses his explosion and understanding of leverage to get off the ball and create penetration. At no point was he a liability for the Cyclones and he is, in fact, great in short yardage situations.