GLENWOOD SPRINGS (9/8/17) – By winning its first two football games of the 2017 season, Glenwood Springs has raised the bar substantially, considering the last time a Demon team began 2-0 was the undefeated 3A State Championship year of 2008.
Before expectations get too high, take note that, despite getting out to a 28-0 lead, and eventually taking a 28-15 victory over Kennedy (1-1) from the East Metro League, the Commanders held Glenwood to a net 141 yards on offense and just six first downs.
Glenwood looked to be cruising after a couple well-executed scoring plays along with an opportunistic defense, which blocked a punt and picked off three Wallace passes – including John Jensen’s pick-six return for 37 yards for that 28-0 lead with 1:18 remaining in the third quarter.
Junior running back Luke Gair, who had 142 yards and two scores in Glenwood’s opening 20-13 win at Connifer, carried the load for the Demons on their first possession, gaining 24 of a 51-yard drive capped by AJ Crowley’s TD pass to Gavin Olson from the 16, for a 7-0 lead with 7:04 to go in the opening quarter.
The teams traded punts on the next five possessions until Jack Richards blocked Horacio Gomez’ attempt early in the second period at midfield, scooped up the loose ball and advanced to the Commanders’ 15. Gair and Crowley ran the ball down to the five, where a block from Antonio Ordonez opened an easy path to the end zone for Gair. Tyler Dietrich, who booted a pair of field goals versus the Lobos the week before, converted the PAT for a 14-0 lead with 5:35 to go until halftime.
On the next play from scrimmage, Felix Cano intercepted Wallace at midfield, but a penalty nullified Olson’s fourth down, fake punt run for a first down, leaving Glenwood up by two scores at half.
Kennedy forced three more punts by Glenwood to open the third quarter until the defense set up another Demon score. Luis Mariano intercepted Wallace at midfield and returned the ball to JFK’s 38. Crowley was sacked for a three yard loss, but executed a perfect option left to Gair on the next play for a 41-yard score and 21-0 lead with 2:38 left in the period. Jensen grabbed a bobbled screen pass just a minute later that provided the cushion to withstand the suddenly sizzling Wallace.
The Kennedy QB, who was 4-for-15 with those three interceptions, found Riley Mayoral, his 6-4 tight end, for a 7-yard strike, concluding a 12-play, 62 yard scoring drive that transcended the start of the fourth quarter. Elias Horta ran in the extra point to make it 28-8. Miguel Herrera recovered an onside attempt, but despite a pass interference call yielding a first down near midfield, Glenwood had to punt for the seventh time in the game. Wallace had moved Kennedy inside the Demon 40 when he was knocked out of the game with 6:25 to go. Dion Herrera and Horta finished the drive on the ground, with Horta’s 11-yard score coming with 5:26 remaining. Backup QB Jon Wild was 0-for-5, thwarting any hopes of a miracle finish for the Commanders.
Gair finished a yard short of 100 in 24 attempts, with Crowley adding 24 yards on 7 carries. Crowley and Brady Steen completed just one of five passes for 16 yards. Wallace wound up 11-for-26 for 139 yards and the Kennedy rushers combined for 138, led by Horta’s 65 yards.
Next Friday, the Demons (2-0), with Battle Mountain, the only unbeaten 3A Western Slope teams, host Steamboat Springs (0-2), which has moved down to 2A this season. The Sailors have lost to 3A’s Summit and Battle Mountain by a combined score of 58-12 in their first two games.