The Flames, a semi-professional team that finished second in the Colorado Football Conference last year, were dominant in the second and third quarters of the game en route to the shutout.
Despite losing, Head Coach Darius Watts was proud of the effort his players displayed.
“I think it went pretty good,” Watts said. “I’m proud of those guys going out there and fighting. It was a dog fight.”
Metro’s defense played terrific throughout the game, contrary to what the scoreboard indicated, coming up with a few goal-line stands and forcing the Flames to punt on multiple occasions.
Early in the first quarter, the Runners forced and recovered a fumble setting up their offense 16 yards away from the end-zone. However, Metro was unable to put points on the board as they botched the snap on a fourth down field goal attempt.
A scoreless battled ensued, until Colorado Springs running back Antonio Rouser took a handoff 22 yards for a touchdown with 12 minutes left in the first half. The Flames would go on to score three more times in the first half: Once on a safety, once on a 55-yard interception return for a touchdown and once on a 15-yard touchdown run with 40 seconds left in the half.
“For us to be able to play in this game, it let’s us see where we’re at,” kick returner Ashton Campbell said. “Our defense is pretty solid, so when we get the offense rolling I think we’ll be one of the top teams.”
In the third quarter, raw temperatures and crisp winds gave way to snow flurries which peppered the stadium. The Flames scored 13 points that quarter, making the score 37-0 which ended up being the final after a scoreless fourth quarter.
Fans of Metro who endured the spring snow did not get to see their team win, but that did not dampen their spirits, as some were just excited to watch the team play.
“I think it’s great for them to have a team,” said Osomoe Mauga, whose son plays defensive line for the team. “I think it helps the Denver community.”
Although the one-sided tilt was not what the team was hoping for, coach Watts and his staff said they believe the players showed a lot of heart.
“I was looking for that, for guys not giving up and quitting,” Watts said.
Auraria students and supporters will have to wait until next year for the team’s next game, but both players and coaches believe the future looks bright.
“Once the season starts we’ll have a whole lot more players out here,” Campbell said. “It’ll be lovely.”
Coach Watts agrees with that sentiment.
“We’ll have more people being able to show up and they’ll be able to work on more things and get more things accomplished.” Watts said. “We’ll be a whole lot better.”