GLENWOOD SPRINGS (10/28/11) — The Glenwood Sophomore Football Express did its part, downing Delta 34-14, but Palisade fell short against Rifle, 36-33, so Glenwood\'s playoff chances now depend on the Panthers beating the Bulldogs in Delta, while the Demons must upset the undefeated Bears next week in Rifle.
Had Palisade defeated the Bears, Glenwood could have taken Rifle's place among the Western Slope League's three playoff spots with a win in the Bears' Den next Friday. Battle Mountain (8-1, 5-1), which owns the tie-breaker over Palisade, would then have moved into first place.
Delta didn\'t put up much resistance as Glenwood (5-4, 4-2 WSL) rolled to its fourth straight league victory with sophomores Henry Hill and Travis Lundin each rushing for a pair of touchdowns and Lundin connecting with Austin Tribble for another. The Demons led 27-0 before a 21-yard, fourth-down pass from Mitchel Whiteside to Taylor Smith got the Panthers on the scoreboard with 4:32 remaining in the third quarter.
The Panthers ((4-5, 2-4) looked ready to challenge for the fourth place Western Slope spot early, putting together a couple of first downs to the Glenwood 39 until a procedure penalty and a solid Rigo Garcia tackle for a loss derailed the drive. That would continue to be the pattern for most of the evening; whenever Delta threatened, a fumble (recovered by Garcia), or a big play by the Demon defense (including interceptions by Grant Fegan and Derrick Chase-Antonelli) would tip momentum back Glenwood\'s direction.
Meanwhile a terrific punt by Caiden Sorensen, downed at the Delta one-yard line by a hustling Jake Bair helped set up the first Demon touchdown. Michael Mills returned the ensuing Panther punt 27 yards to the 11, and on the next play Hill burst off right tackle behind blocks from Connor Denney and Collin Page for the score. Texas transfer Zach Thomas\'s PAT put Glenwood up 7-0 with 1:10 left in the first quarter. Thomas assumed the extra point kicking duties last week at Eagle Valley, going 4-for-4, and made 2 of 3 kicks against Delta.
Hill put the Demons up 13-0 early in the second quarter, with Tribble\'s end around for 25 yards and Hill\'s own 34 yard sprint preceding a four-yard touchdown, Hill\'s 11th of the season and 7th in the past three games.
Another fine Sorensen punt (he averaged 41 yards on 5 kicks) pinned the Panthers on their 8, and when the Demon defense forced a three-and-out, Glenwood took over at the Delta 45. Lundin scrambled out of trouble and launched a perfectly thrown pass to Fegan, sprinting down the right sideline, which he hauled in to the 8. Hill took it to the five and Lundin scored the touchdown from there with 1:24 left in the half for a 19-0 lead.
The Demons took the second half kickoff and marched 60 yards in 13 plays, consuming 4:51 and overcoming a pair of penalties after reaching first and goal at the 5. Hill and Lundin had back-to-back 19 yard runs before Lundin found Tribble for a 22 yard TD on third and goal. The extra point pass to Cam Avery gave Glenwood an insurmountable 27-0 lead with 7:09 to go in the third quarter.
Delta answered after Chris Black\'s 50 yard kickoff return set them up at the Demon 21, but it still took a fourth-and-10 touchdown pass to do so, and Glenwood consumed the final 4:32 in the period before Lundin scored three plays into the final frame for a 34-7 advantage.
Lundin finished 9-of-12 passing for 113 yards and rushed 15 times for 71, the third time he has reached or exceeded that yardage gained in the last four games. That rushing balance has benefitted Hill, who tallied 127 yards in 21 attempts, the third straight game he\'s gone over the century mark.
Glenwood will need that balance to take on fifth-ranked 3A power Rifle (9-0, 6-0) in the Bears\' Den next week. Rifle held off Palisade (7-2, 4-2) at Stocker Stadium Friday to clinch its first WSL crown since 2002. However, the Bears parlayed a fourth-place finish in 2004 into a state championship, and returned to the title game from the same spot in â€˜05.
Glenwood\'s only chance to take one of the three WSL playoff spots now depends on Delta defeating Palisade next week, while the Demons must upset Rifle. The 3A playoffs do admit a wild-card entry, and a win over Rifle would greatly improve the Demons\' chances for that bid.