KMTS FOOTBALL: Demons Drop Unexpected Defensive Battle to Harrison

COLORADO SPRINGS (9/7/18) – Given the 92 total points scored in the opening game last weekend and 58 combined in Harrison’s win over Glenwood in their 2017 match-up, Friday’s low-scoring,14-6 Panthers’ win was something of an upset: not that Harrison improved to 2-0, and Glenwood’s record fell to the reverse, but that scores were so sparse.

The game didn’t start that way, as the Demons repeated their initial scoring drive from the week before, this time striking quickly when Gavin Olson took a pitch to the left sideline on the fourth play from scrimmage and outran Panther safety Matthew Robinson 69 yards for a touchdown, just 98 seconds into the contest. The extra point try sailed under the crossbar, leaving Glenwood ahead, 6-0.

Unfortunately for the Demons, that would be just about their last offensive highlight. Unlike the 372 yards rushing and 18 first downs they rolled up versus Holy Family, Glenwood could not get anything going against a beefy Panther interior line that ranged from 250 to 296 pounds. After the 4-play, 80-yard drive gave the Demons a 6-0 lead they held until 26 seconds before halftime, Glenwood managed a meager 42 yards rushing on 25 attempts the rest of the game.

The difference for the Demons was their defense. Holy Family amassed 548 total yards in scoring 57 points last week, and though Orlando Westbrook completed 23 of 33 passes for 314 yards and both Panther scores, Glenwood repeatedly thwarted Harrison, three times recovering fumbles inside the Demon 10-yard line.

Harrison’s first two possessions ended on fourth-down tries, then Wyatt Ewer knocked the ball out of Westbrook’s hands at the two-yard line, into the Demon end zone for a touchbak near the end of the first quarter.

After a holding penalty, one of nine first-half flags (two vs. Harrison) thrown against Glenwood, Olson punted 45 yards to the Panther 30. Westbrook completed three straight passes, and another Demon penalty gave Harrison a first-and-five at the 21. Westbrook connected with Makeah Scippio, who was hit and fumbled at the one.

Glenwood had ball-handling troubles of their own, Luke Gair’s fumble putting a halt to the Demons’ only venture into Panther territory until late in the third quarter. Every other first-half possession resulted in a punt, the last a sensational 66-yard kick that stopped rolling on Harrison’s 10-yard line with 3 minutes left until intermission.

Westbrook completed a third down flat pass to 220-pound Aumiere Shedrick out of the backfield for 26 yards, and the big senior, on just his fourth carry of the game, converted a 4th-and-one at midfield for a first down to the Demon 48. Olson broke up a first down pass, but a 15-yard penalty on the next play moved the ball to Glenwood’s 30. From there, Westbrook connected with Devon Washington to tie the score, and Tyler Nabozny’s PAT kick gave Harrison a 7-6 halftime lead.

The Panthers put together a nine-play, 73-yard drive to open the second half, with Westbrook completing 6-of-6 passes, the last another flat pass to Shedrick from the 25 for the game’s final score with 7:45 to go in the third quarter.

After Glenwood’s fifth punt of six for the game, Westbrook, who gained 156 yards rushing in last week’s win over Green Mountain, gained 11 yards on an option run, his longest gain on the night. Two more runs and a pass to Shedrick left Harrison facing 4th-and-five on their own 40, but as they did on all four of their fourth downs in the game, they went for it and failed.

This gave Glenwood its best field position opportunity, but Olson lost two yards, and after an incomplete pass, the Demons lined up in a spread formation for the first time since previous coach Rocky Whitworth’s last game. Gair ran up the middle for no gain and Olson punted to the Panther ten as the third quarter neared its end.

Harrison all but clinched the game’s outcome as they began a 17-play, four first-down possession that consumed ten minutes. Sam Fitzwilliams pulled Westbrook down for the Demons’ fourth sack and Joshua Sanchez stopped Shedrick for a loss of three, with the Panthers facing 4th-and-17 at the Glenwood 35. Westbrook’s pass was overthrown, giving Glenwood the ball with 3:12 left in the game.

Max Lemkau converted a 4th-and-5 pass to Gair for 12 yards to keep the Demons’ chances alive, but Gair fumbled after a 6-yard completion on the next play, only to see the Panthers also put the ball on the ground on the same play. Spencer Cloud recovered for Glenwood at the 44, and Lemkau’s pass to Olson gave the Demons a first down at the Panther 38 with 1:12 to go. However Nabozny intercepted Lemkau’s next pass attempt to snuff out Glenwood’s hope for a last minute upset.

The Demon senior quarterback, who did not attempt a pass in the first game, was 6-for-10, for 52 yards. Olson managed 24 yards on 9 carries in addition to his 69-yard touchdown run. Gair was held to 17 yards on 10 attempts, and Elliot Dwyer-Walz gained 21 yards on five attempts.

Shedrick led a surprisingly limited Panther running game with 40 yards on 14 attempts, but did catch 5 passes for 71 yards. Harrison was held to 61 total rushing yards on 33 attempts, but Westbrook’s passing helped the Panthers to 20 first downs, with Glenwood gaining just six. After 90 yards in first half penalties, Glenwood had no infractions the final two quarters, with Harrison drawing just one.

Glenwood (0-2) continues its non-league schedule by hosting perennial playoff contender Conifer (2-0), which thrashed Summit , 55-7, leaving the Tigers and Demons the only winless 3A Western Slope teams after week two.

About Jack Jabbour

High school sports analyst
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