Succesful debuts for Hommel, Rock Canyon

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Jim Benton
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HIGHLANDS RANCH — Ryan Hommel played well in his debut as Rock Canyon’s starting varsity quarterback in leading the Jaguars to a victory in their initial Class 5A game.

Rock Canyon, which has moved up into the Class 5A classification and the Pioneer League this season, defeated Highlands Ranch 21-15 in a non-league contest last Friday night at Shea Stadium.

Hommel,a 6-foot-1, 185 pound sophomore who lettered as a freshman backup last season, is the type of quarterback that most coaches are seeking these days.

He’s athletic with the ability to run and throw.

Hommel completed 13 of 27 passes for 169 yards against the Falcons. He ran for 60 yards on 12 carries and had touchdown runs of 19, seven and four yards.

After the game Hommel accepted plaudits from friends who kept reminding him that he was just a sophomore.

He might be a sophomore but he acted like an upperclassman.

“I played pretty good but I had a lot of options,” he said. “I definitely have to temper this. I did a lot of things I didn’t want to do.

“This school had this game marked. We wanted to come out and make sure we would do something right. We did that.”

One of the options for Hommel was senior running back Eric Williams who rushed for 2,115 yards and 28 touchdowns in the 2011 campaign.

Williams carried the ball only six times in the first half as Rock Canyon came out throwing the football in taking 14-0 first quarter lead on scoring scampers of 19 and seven yards by Hommel.

“I played a lot of running back and receiver in youth ball and I’ve always loved to run the ball,” said Hommel. “I used Eric to my advantage. On the option plays I would fake the pitch to him and I would take it myself.”

Williams finished with 87 yards rushing with 14 of his carries coming in the second half. He carried the ball 10 times in an 11-play non-scoring drive that milked 7:28 off the clock in the fourth quarter and left only 66 seconds on the clock.

“If people want to think it’s going to be the Eric Williams show, please think that because it isn’t,” said Rock Canyon coach Tom Lynch.

“There’s four quality receivers, a quality quarterback and a line to give him time to throw.”

Brian Goldberg had four receptions for 63 yards for Rock Canyon while Austin Beane and Michael Sheperd each caught three passes.

Rock Canyon is on the road at Arvada West Friday night and Lynch expects the Jaguars to play the same type of game.

“We just play football,” he said. “We have a good schedule and it’s backyard football. That’s how we coach it. Just get in the backyard or the park and go play. That’s what these guys have been doing since they were little kids.”

Highlands Ranch coach Darrel Gorham was impressed with what he saw from Hommel and the Jaguars.

“The kid (Hommel) is a good athlete,” said Gorham “He makes good decisions and he’s a competitor. He threw the ball well but not only that he led his team. He did a good job of running the offense and he ran the ball and threw the ball well. He did a great job.

“Rock Canyon played well. Bottom line is they made more plays than we did. It was just one of those deals, making mistakes in the first game with personal fouls and those kind of things. Our kids played hard and hopefully we will be ready to play Ponderosa next.”

Senior running back Alfred Prisco was the spark plug for The Falcons with 150 yards rushing.