FOUNTAIN — "It was a Saturday morning game," recalled Jayden Allen, a Fountain-Fort Carson senior defensive back. "That game still haunts me to this day."
"We were excited to be in the semifinals, but it was disheartening that we couldn't have this place packed," added Fountain-Fort Carson head coach Jake Novotny. "We had 150 people total here, in a stadium that holds 5,000. And it would of gotten close to that being 20 years removed from the last semifinal run."
There is nothing like a gameday at Fountain-Fort Carson high school.
But in 2020, the Trojan fan base was robbed of seeing the best Fountain-Fort Carson football team in years due to COVID-19.
This season, the Trojans are back and looking to prove last year wasn't a fluke.
"We are in a different position this year," explained Novotny. "The target is on our back, especially when you play local teams. That something we are going to learn how to deal with from where we were before where we were chasing."
The Trojans bounced onto the scene in 2020, making it to the 4A state semifinal game. But those days are in the past, along with leading rusher Q Jones, who is now at Dartmouth
Now there is a new crop of young stars lead by the QB-RB duo of Tavian Tuli & Tai Faavae.
"Just look at Tae," stated Allen. "I mean, he is just a freak of nature just looking at him. And Tavian, I feel like he really matured over the offseason. Just getting his arm right and accuracy "
"The biggest thing we learned last year is to try to become a family," added Faavae. "Come closer as a group and not separating offense and defense, but becoming a team altogether.
"We are tough and we like to compete," said Tuli. "But not only that. We are not just a team and teammates, we are a family."
And hopefully, that FFC family will show out and see what this year's Trojan team is all about.
"You can't count us out," concluded Faavae. "No matter if we are down we are still going to fight. Give it our all to the final bell."
The Trojans open the season on the road against rival Widefield.