The weight is off, and the wait is over for the Montrose football program.
The Meteors scored three times in the opening quarter to secure the program’s first victory in over three years – ending 26-game losing streak with a 46-6 win over Holy Cross.
It was the first victory for Montrose since September 16, 2017 when they defeated Holy Cross 35-8.
Montrose took advantage of several Holy Cross miscues and used a little surprise to take the early lead.
Logan McNamara put the Meteors on the board when he scooped up a Crusader fumble and raced 47 yards for the touchdown.
After Montrose failed to convert the two-point conversion the Meteors completed a successful onside kick to regain immediate possession.
Three plays later Quarterback Gus Brown completed the first of four touchdown passes when he found Lance Rought for a 30-yard score and a 12-0 Meteor lead.
During Holy Cross’s next possession Cameron Johnson stepped in front of a Crusader pass at the Montrose 45 and took it to the house for 18-0 lead.
“We took advantage of mistakes,” observed Montrose Head Coach Kerry Patton. “Holy Cross beat themselves as much as we defeated them.”
Montrose gained momentum and overcame some execution issues to achieve victory. “We had to rearrange a lot of things due to some personnel issues,” explained Patton. “We didn’t execute as well as we as a coaching staff would have liked.”
Injuries, illness, and eligibility issues affected the Montrose lineup.
“Between all that was going on we were missing nearly 10 guys,” said Patton.
But Patton was proud of the contributions of several of his players. “Gus Brown is going to be an exceptional quarterback,” said Patton of the sophomore who is in his first season as the varsity starter.
“He played well despite some horrible reads,” said Patton. “But he did a great job of understanding the urgency of getting the ball out quickly, and that was something we really worked on this week.”
Brown finished the day 15-27 passing with four touchdowns against three interceptions.
“We stalled on the first couple drives, and I got a little greedy with the deep ball,” said Brown. “But I just listened to the coaches, started looking for those middle routes, and then the outside routes opened up.”
Along with Rought, Brown found senior wideout Dominic Palmatier for a 55-yard score to open the second quarter and hit Johnson for a 30-yard scoring strike the next possession.
Palmatier was glad to get his first touchdown of the season. “It was a big play for me because I haven’t warmed up from last year,” said Palmatier. “It was a fly route, a little underthrown so I had to work for it.”
“I saw Dom breaking to the middle and I underthrew it a little into that open space,” Brown said.
Brown’s final touchdown came when he hit Ethan Brown for 11 yards early in the fourth quarter.
The Meteors’ final points came after they gave up their first points of the game. With just over two minutes to go, McNamara brought the ensuing kickoff back 55 yards for the score. Johnson completed the two-point conversion with a plunge into the endzone.
Despite the offensive line needing to revamp and gain experience Patton was pleased with some of his younger players.
“John Tyler is a stud,” gushed Patton. “For someone who had never played football before he is doing an exceptional job. “
“He and Devin Ford are the same type of athlete,” Patton further explained. “They are quick to pick up things up and dedicated to getting better.”
The victory was special for the senior players who have weathered the couple of winless campaigns.
“It feels great,” said Palmatier. “It’s a big confidence booster for the team and helps our team place in the standings and rankings.”
Gus Brown felt the win does a multitude of things for the program. “I think it helps with encouraging kids to join to build up our numbers,” added Brown. “It also allows our seniors to go out with a win.”