PALISADE (9/23/10) — A pair of 50-yard runs by Glenwood quarterback Luke Jacob not only keyed the team's 21-20 fourth-quarter comeback win at Palisade Friday, but also launched the Demons back into the top ten 3A state rankings.
Since posting back-to-back undefeated regular seasons in 2007-2008, GSHS has lived in the state's top ten, but a last-second 6-0 loss at Montrose, despite the 4A Indians' number five ranking, dropped Glenwood from the Denver Post/9 News poll, and even the 36-28 shootout victory over 5A Fruita wasn't enough to crack the top ten in the Colorado Preps poll for the first time.
Jacob's 50-yard touchdown burst to open the fourth quarter and his 3-for-3 passing for all but six of the 64-yard scoring drive, capped by a 4-yard TD from Drew Halsch and JD Weeden's extra point kick changed the voters' view of the Demons. The 13-point final frame might not have mattered but for another 50-yard sprint by Jacob just before halftime.
Trailing 14-8 with 11 seconds to go in the second quarter near midnield, Jacob's pass was intercepted by the speedy Jamr Rhodes, who had scooped up a blocked field goal and raced 53 yards for the game's initial score in the first quarter. Rhodes set sail down the sideline but Jacob took a deep pursuit angle and tackled the Bulldog senior one yard short of the end zone as time expired. Despite the protests of Bulldog coach John Arledge, who raced toward the referees holding up one finger in a futile effort to get one second restored to the clock, the Demons jogged off the field down just 6 points despite ten first-half penalties that bogged down their offense.
Palisade scored in the third period and led 20-8 going into the final quarter. After an incomplete pass, Jacob found room behind a lead block by Halsch, broke through the secondary and went 50 yards — in the other direction from his halftime sprint, to draw Glenwood within six, 20-14.
Jacob hit Cam Avery and Austin Tribble with key third-down passes in a fourth quarter drive that tied the score and Weeden's extra point gave Glenwood its only lead of the game.
Chris Ayala, Chad Montover, Brian Ochoa, Willie Pelland, and Nick Ciani all contributed to sacking sophomore QB Luke McLean twice on the Bulldogs' final drive, but a fourth-down interference call kept Palisade's hopes of retaining their second ranking in the Colorado Prep state 3A polls alive. The Demon secondary was up to the task, forcing four straight incompletions to clinch the victory which was the Western Slope opener for both teams.
Jacob rushed for 136 yards on 18 carries and Halsch added 89 on 16 attempts as Glenwood outgained the Bulldogs, 225 yards to 76 on the ground. Jacob set career highs with 3 interceptions and 31 attempts, completing 17 for 166 yards and a 4-yard TD pass to Cam Avery.
The win vaulted Glenwood (3-1, 1-0) to the number four spot in the Colorado Preps poll with Palisade (3-1, 0-1) dropped to fifth. In the Denver Post/9 News poll, the Demons are ranked tenth, with the Bulldogs holding at number three, despite the loss. Undefeated Coal Ridge (4-0), after its 45-19 Homewcoming win over Roaring Fork, made its first-ever appearance in both 2A polls at number 10. Glenwood will travel to the new Battle Mountain High School field at Edwards this weekend.