The Mancos Blue Jays lost their season-opener at Norwood on Friday evening, 48-12.
The Blue Jays offense struggled early, going three-and-out on their first three possessions.
Defensively, they held Norwood in check for stretches, but occasional mental lapses and missed assignments led to big plays for the Mavericks. Three of Norwood's five first half touchdowns came on plays of 20 yards or more.
"That comes down to each kid doing his own assignment," said co-head coach Josh Gardner. "We broke down assignment-wise. We lost contain a couple of times."
Leading 35-0 at half, the Mavericks returned the opening kickoff of the second half for a touchdown to extend their lead.
The Blue Jays finally got on the board early in the fourth quarter when Adrian Hernandez intercepted a tipped pass and returned it for a touchdown.
After another Norwood score, Axel Bonde capped off a 57-yard Blue Jays drive with a touchdown. But it was too little too late, as the running clock expired, with Mancos trailing 48-12.
"I was proud of their effort," Gardner said. "But we've got a lot of things we've got to fix. Our special teams have to get better and our linebacker play needs to get better, but they came out there and they played with pride.
"I saw more pride in them tonight than I have in the last two years," he continued. "We're a different team. I'm really proud of them."
The Blue Jays (0-1) will host Rangely (1-0) in their home opener on Friday, Sept. 4 at 7 p.m.