GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) Starting the season ranked third in 3A football, Palisade's expectations for the 2019 season were high. After the second week of the season, the Bulldogs would take a major hit with their talented senior quarterback going down due to injury. What he did when he came back was special helping Palisade extend their win streak over conference opponents to 20 games.
Palisade football hasn't lost a Western Slope League game in four years and the Bulldogs capped off the regular season this year with a 42-6 win to claim another conference title and roll into the state playoffs with some confidence.
"Our offensive line played phenomenal,” senior quarterback Cam Tucker said. “The defense created some turnovers. We were able to turn in some first downs into touchdowns like coach talks about all the time."
"I give a lot of credit to our offensive line did a great job protecting, Cam threw the ball excellent, and our defense just came out lights out," said head coach Joe Ramunno.
Tucker went down with an ankle injury in Palisade's loss to Green Mountain week two of his final year. The all-state player last year had to sit out three games which dropped the Bulldogs out of the top ten rankings. In the five games he's been back, he's gone 27-33 passing for 553 yards and 10 touchdowns. He's also rushed for 336 yards and 7 touchdowns.
"He's the guy that leads us so we're going to ride,” Rammuno said. “He's done a great job all phases of the game and he's a special young man. Really proud to be able to coach him."
Even while he was out injured, there wasn't a second he was away from the football field. He was always holding onto a play chart and standing next to the coaches soaking up what they were teaching.
"There aren't very many players that spend as much time even breaking film down and all the things you do in football that people aren't really aware of,” said Ramunno. “He does it like a big timer."
"It was hard obviously being senior year and having to sit there but I’m very proud of our team for the way they stuck in there and fought and kept coming in to work even though things weren't falling our way,” Tucker said. “Now we've got some wins strung together and we have to put it all together next week because we are going to play a very talented team."
He also gets the job done on defense. The senior has 18 tackles and he added his third interception of the season in last week's win. Tucker and the Bulldogs earned the ten seed in the 3A playoffs and will play at Durango on Saturday.