Here's the scenario that ended the game: Fruita leads 19-14, Pomona has the ball on the Fruita six yard line, fourth down, one second left on the clock. It all comes down to the last play of the game. It was a fitting end to an extremely exciting evening of play. When Pomona's last pass fell incomplete, Fruita pulled off the victory and went a long way towards establishing themselves as a team to contend with this season.
Both teams started out slowly in the first half of play, struggling on both offense and defense as they tried to find their way around the field. At halftime, Pomona led 7-0 after a rather lackluster two quarters of play. The second half was a completely different story. The quality of play improved as one player took it upon himself to take over the game. That player was current CU Commit Riar Geer. This evening was the first time Geer saw significant action on the defensive side of the ball. While he struggled a bit during the first half, he came into his own during the second. With 10:22 to go in the third quarter, Geer was lined up at left defensive end. He batted a pass attempt in the air, caught the ball, and returned the interception 22 yards for a touchdown, giving Fruita their first points of the evening. Fruita was in control for the remainder of the third quarter, and start of the fourth. However, a couple of turnovers would prove to haunt them. Fruita fumbled a punt return attempt at 6:47 remaining in the third period. The Wildcats were able to keep Pomona out of the endzone. Fruita was driving early in the 4th quarter when they fumbled again deep in Pomona territory. This time, Pomona would make them pay. The Panthers embarked on a 70-plus yard drive, taking a 14-7 lead with 6:16 remaining.
Fruita's ensuing drive stalled, and they lined up for a punt attempt with a little under 4:00 remaining. The Wildcats executed a perfect fake punt, as Andy Badamenta caught the pass and took the ball to the Pomona three yard line. Geer would soon punch the ball in from the one yard line to bring the score to 14-13. On the point after attempt, Fruita attempted another special team fake. This time, it didn't work so well. The Wildcats were stopped short and trailed 14-13. Fruita held Pomona to a quick three and out. Following a Pomona punt, they took control of the ball at their own 40-yard line with a little over two minutes to play. What happened next can best be described as the "Riar Geer Show". Geer looked amazing marching his team down the field with little time remaining. He threw, he ran, he did everything possible in leading Fruita to a touchdown with just under a minute to play to take a 19-14 lead.
Pomona wasn't ready to give up just yet. They returned the kick off to near mid-field, and eventually drove the ball inside the Fruita 9-yard line. The Wildcats held tight, and it all came down to the last play of the game. 4th and 6th, one second left to play, Pomona in need of a touchdown to win the game. A rollout pass fell incomplete, and Fruita emerged victorious in an absolute thriller.
Most of my attention was focused on CU Commit Riar Geer. I came away from the game extremely impressed with this future Buff. Geer lined up at quarterback, defensive end and linebacker. He basically did everything but kick the ball. As stated earlier, tonight was Riar's first significant experience on the defensive side of the ball. After a very small warm up period, Geer looked like a seasoned veteran. He intercepted the ball, recorded numerous sacks, and basically harassed Pomona's offense all evening long.
On the offensive side of the ball, Geer looked just as dominating. He may not have perfect arm strength and accuracy, but what he lacks as a pure passer is made up for with incredible athletic ability. Two plays really stick out in my mind. During one play, Geer dropped back to pass and his blocking completely broke down. He used his athleticism to elude the oncoming rushers and make an excellent pass completion as he avoided the sack. Second, during Fruita's game winning drive, Riar dropped back into the pocket, saw no one open, and proceeded to run for a 20-yard plus gain.
Geer did it all this evening. He has the size, speed and athleticism to be a contributor to the CU football program. There have been questions as to whether he has the size to play tight end, the position the Buffs recruited him for. After talking with Riar after the game, there's no doubt he can play tight end for CU. He has the body and frame to become an everyday tight end at the collegiate level.
My overall impression after watching Riar this evening is that he is definitely a tremendous pickup for the Buffaloes. Geer is one of those players who simply makes something happen. He scored all three touchdowns for the Wildcats, and was an integral part of their defensive stands.
The other player on the field receiving significant recruiting attention is Tyler Ryan. Ryan had a great game this evening, anchoring a defensive line that held Pomona in check for most of the evening. Ryan lined up at defensive end, and by the second half, very few plays were run in his direction. Ryan has played in 37 varsity games, and basically is on the field for every play, as he lines up with the special teams in addition to offense and defense.
Tyler looked very impressive tonight, disrupting the offense most of the evening and catching a crucial pass late in the fourth quarter. Ryan has the athleticism to be a player at the division one level. With more performances like the one he had this evening, recruiting should heat up for the Western slope prospect. He keeps his weight down in order to participate in wrestling, but has the frame to add size and muscle if needed.
Other prospects to watch out for include Fruita Junior fullback/linebacker Cody Walker, RB Andy Batalamente, Pomona RBs Tommy Frikken and Calvin Krenke.