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Mica Mountain has successful debut, topping Coolidge in first-ever game
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Mica Mountain 13, Coolidge 7

Mica Mountain has successful debut, topping Coolidge in first-ever game

Mica Mountain's Kaspen Colbert slams his way into the Coolidge defense Friday night. Colbert had 158 rushing yards on 15 attempts as the Thunderbolts won 13-7 in their first game ever.

Friday night marked the first of many games for the Mica Mountain Thunderbolts, the newest football-playing high school in the Vail Unified School District.

The Thunderbolts, in their first-ever varsity football game, held off the Coolidge Bears 13-7 at home.

Mica Mountain is playing a truncated schedule as an independent program, allowing the Thunderbolts to have flexibility scheduling opponents.

Donning powder blue jerseys with white lettering, white helmets and white pants, Mica Mountain’s roster is mostly comprised with underclassmen. The Thunderbolts have mostly juniors, sophomores and freshmen, with just two seniors, lineman Taylor Goodwill and safety Ethan Black.

Mica Mountain’s inexperienced roster handed Coolidge (2-3) its third loss of the season.

Mica Mountain’s Jacob Flores, right, bounces off Coolidge’s Belclem Namegabe and just inside the pylon to score the first touchdown in Thunderbolt history. Mica Mountain went on to win 13-7, and will next play Douglas in two weeks.

“It’s unexpected stuff. We had a bunch of young kids come out and play a decent (Class) 3A team,” said Mica Mountain coach Pat Nugent, who formerly coached at Cienega. “We knew had some talented kids, so we thought we’d be able to compete with them, but we’re excited. We’re 1-0 at Mica Mountain, and that’s a crazy thing.”

One of those juniors, 6-foot-2, 220-pound running back Kaspen Colbert, had the first rush in Mica Mountain history, a 6-yard carry. Colbert finished the night with 158 rushing yards on 15 attempts (11.5 yards per carry).

“He’s an unbelievable talent. … He’s got tremendous amount of talent and one of the top kids I’ve ever coached,” said Nugent. “He’s got a bright future ahead.”

Mica Mountain tight end Jacob Flores caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Jayden Thoreson just before the end of the first half to jump out to a 7-0 lead. Following touchdowns at Mica Mountain, the stadium’s lights flicker as part of a celebratory light show.

Zach Brent extended Mica Mountain’s lead to 13-0 heading into the third quarter. Late in the fourth quarter, Coolidge scored on a quarterback sneak to pull the Bears within a touchdown with 3:11 remaining, but Colbert iced the game with a 45-yard run, shaking off four defenders before he was brought down.

Mica Mountain’s Jonah Garcia drags Coolidge’s Jalil Bishop along for a few extra yards after his catch in the second quarter.

“When it gets tight like that, it’s about possession, moving the chains and keeping the clock running,” said Nugent. “When you have a house like (Colbert) running the ball, you gotta feed him a little bit. When push comes to shove, we had to go with our guy, and he was our guy tonight in the end.”

For now, the Thunderbolts can say they haven’t lost a game in program history.

“The tunnel we thought was a long way away, it may be closer than we think,” said Nugent. “That light at the end of the tunnel is coming very quick, and we have great things ahead of us.”

Mica Mountain (1-0) will take a week off before facing Douglas (1-1) on the road on Oct. 8.

Contact sports producer Justin Spears at 573-4312 or On Twitter:


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Sports producer

Justin writes stories and produces digital content about UA football and basketball and high school football. A Tucson native, Justin graduated from the UA in 2017 and is the host of the Wildcast Podcast and a radio host on ESPN Tucson.

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