ERIE — The Erie Tigers are headed to the 3A semifinals, but the future of their star player is up in the air.
No. 3-seed Erie rolled to a 34-0 shutout victory over No. 6 Green Mountain at Tiger Stadium on Friday night. The only bad news was that senior running back Noah Roper was carted off the field in the second half after suffering a leg injury.
He gave the Erie crowd a thumbs-up as he was driven to the locker room, and returned to the sideline in the fourth quarter with crutches. His is expected to get X-rays early Saturday to find out his status for the remainder of his final season.
Before the injury, though, Roper was in true form early. He broke free for a pair of rushing touchdowns from 31 and 36 yards to put his team out to a quick 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
Kicker Julian Custine put two field-goal attempts (34 and 35 yards) through the uprights to add to that lead.
After Roper's injury, Gavin Mendoza chipped in with a 1-yard touchdown run, as did Ian Vera (5 yards) to send Erie to the 3A semifinals for the second straight year.
The Tigers will play the winner of Saturday's game between No. 2 Pueblo East and No. 7 Discovery Canyon next weekend.
Green Mountain finishes its season with a 9-3 overall record.