Isaiah Salazar leads ‘mule-like’ effort for Windsor in big football win over Monarch
October 13, 2017
WINDSOR — Windsor football coach Chris Jones — never shy about busting out a metaphor or two — spoke of a mule while imparting pregame words of wisdom on his team Friday.
That mule might fall in a hole or two from time to time, Jones told them. Just as his team might have been feeling a little down during the long, trying season — battling some bumps and bruises along with the weekly grind of its daunting schedule.
But, that mule will eventually claw its way out of that hole.
Like that mule, the Wizards proudly stood on higher ground after lumbering past Monarch, 35-17, in a battle of top-10 teams at H.J. Dudley Field.
"The mule is going to be OK," Jones said. "I told them a story about a mule this week. It fell in a hole. The kids will get (the reference). The mule is going to be OK."
Windsor — ranked fifth in Class 4A by CHSAANow.com — improved to 2-0 in Northern Conference play, 6-1 overall.
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Monarch — ranked sixth by CHSAANow.com and first in RPI — suffered its first loss, falling to 1-1, 6-1.
While the Wizards' grit resembled a tough, stubborn mule, their newest ball-carrier — 5-foot-10, 190-pound sophomore Isaiah Salazar — looked like a stallion.
The transfer from Eaton had a breakout game, rushing for 74 yards and a touchdown on just eight carries to pace Windsor's balanced offense.
Providing plenty of tough yards, Salazar added the perfect exclamation point to the impressive midseason win, charging into the end zone from 1 yard out to extend the Wizards' lead to 35-17 with 3 minutes, 25 seconds left.
"That was very nice," Salazar said with a smile. "It was a breakout game. I just had to fill in for some players who were hurt and I just had to step up."
Salazar — who was a state champion wrestler a year ago at Eaton — has been with his team for just a couple months now. In that time, he has bounced around from position to position.
Friday, he may have finally found a home, as a bruising fullback capable of plowing his way right through the teeth of opposing defenses.
"This is his seventh week, and he started off at outside linebacker, then we put him at safety, then we put him at defensive end," Jones said. "Then, I said, 'Let's try him at wing.' Then, we put him at fullback. So, he's been around the block. But, we know he's special. And, a lot of guys are out there blocking to make that special happen for him."
Trailing 17-14 through three quarters, Windsor dominated the fourth in all facets, rattling off 21 unanswered points.
The Wizards' defense held the Coyotes' normally highly effective offense to 47 inconsequential yards in the deciding quarter.
"Defensively — goodness, gracious — you see how many times there were eight or nine guys popping to the pile," Jones said. "We just came after them."
With three regular season games left, Friday's win gives Windsor a big lift in the race for the Northern Conference title. It also likely boosts the Wizards up a few spots in RPI as they look to secure a home game to start the playoffs in November.
"It's huge," Windsor senior quarterback Connor Apodaca said. "Especially being down (in the game) for a little bit. We showed mental toughness and came together as a team. It was a great win."
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The Wizards' defensive unit, collectively deserves the nod.
Noah Montague's 2-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter gave Windsor the lead back, 21-17, and kick-started its dominant fourth quarter.
The Wizards travel to Greeley to take on Greeley Central (1-1, 2-5) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at District 6 Stadium.
The Coyotes play host to Mountain View (0-2, 2-5) at 7 p.m. Friday.
MHS 3 7 7 0 — 17
WHS 7 7 0 21 — 35
MHS — Tyler Lamphear 33 FG, 4:16. Drive: 17 plays, 87 yards, 7:39. Monarch 3, Windsor 0.
WHS — Noah Montague 6 run (Julia Broghammer kick), 1:33. Drive: 6 plays, 49 yards, 3:35. Windsor 7, Monarch 3.
WHS — Brayden Pederson 34 pass from Connor Apodaca (Broghammer kick), 5:51. Drive: 8 plays, 80 yards, 3:51. Windsor 14, Monarch 3.
MHS — Justin Kiss 8 run (Lamphear kick), 3:38. Drive: 7 plays, 75 yards, 2:04. Windsor 14, Monarch 10.
MHS — Max Laychak 4 run (Lamhear kick), 8:44. Drive: 4 plays, 15 yards, 1:50. Monarch 17, Windsor 14.
WHS — Montague 2 run (Broghammer kick), 11:55. Drive: 7 plays, 45 yards, 1:59. Windsor 21, Monarch 17.
WHS — Jaedyn Traut 8 run (Broghammer kick), 6:31. Drive: 6 plays, 62 yards, 3:11. Windsor 28, Monarch 17.
WHS — Isaiah Salazar 1 run (Broghammer kick), 3:25. Drive: 4 plays, 71 yards, 1:19. Windsor 35, Monarch 17.
First downs 13 17
Rushes-yards 49-162 30-225
Passing 132 126
Comp-Att-Int 8-12-0 9-14-0
Sacked-yards lost 0-0 2-9
Punts-Avg. 3-35.3 3-22
Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties-yards 3-25 44
Rushing — MHS, Justin Kiss 11-55 (TD); Max Laychak 11-39 (TD). WHS, Isaiah Salazar 8-74 (TD), Darren Peeples 1-54, Brandon Ramirez 2-42.
Passing — MHS, CJ Schmanski 8-12-0-132 . WHS, Connor Apodaca 9-14-0-126 (TD).
Receiving — MHS, Ben Cole 1-58, Brenden Christensen 4-53. WHS, Brayden Pederson 2-48 (TD), Brandon Ramirez 2-31.