KMTS FOOTBALL: GSHS GROUND GAME OVERHAULS FEISTY DEVILS

GYPSUM(10/21/11) — “I had to gain 20 pounds to be running back,” the 155-lb. sophomore Henry Hill said after gaining 181yards and scoring two second half touchdowns to help Glenwood Springs reel in a surprisingly resistant, one-win Eagle Valley team 28-7, for its third straight win.

Hill, who was a 135-lb. receiver as a freshman, has scored nine touchdowns and rushed for 817 yards, but the real difference for him this season has been the addition of a backfield running mate, not just the added weight,. Hill had just 32 yards in 14 carries at halftime four games ago when, with Glenwood trailing Battle Mountain 27-0, coach Rocky Whitworth replaced senior quarterback Jon Forristall with sophomore Travis Lundin.

While Lundin\’s passing (70% completion rate, 688 yards and 8 touchdowns in 4 games), has given the Demon offense balance and an undeniable spark, his rushing threat — 221 yards and 3 touchdowns in 34 carries — has prevented opposing defenses from keying on Hill. Since halftime of the Battle Mountain game, Hill has averaged 6.1 yards per carry and scored 6 touchdowns (versus 4.7 and 3 TDs in the previous 4 games). “It goes back and forth,” Hill said. “Both of us get a lot of yards — it\’s fun.”

There wasn\’t much fun in the first half at Gypsum Friday night, however, as Forristall started at quarterback for the first time since Lundin replaced him four games ago, and though a fourth-down Eagle Valley penalty provided new life, the drive fizzled at the Devil 39 and Caiden Sorensen\’s punt was downed at the 11.

The 1-6 Devils (1-4 WSL) suddenly looked like a force to be reckoned with as four different running backs rumbled out of the double-tight, double-slot formation used by Glenwood prior to the Whitworth era and chewed up 89 yards in 9 plays to take a 7-0 lead with 5:03 left in the fourth quarter.

Lundin returned to quarterback for the Demons, who put together four first downs in driving to the Devil 10, but a fourth-and-five pass was stopped, turning the ball over. Eagle was forced to punt from its 35 and Michael Mills returned the kick 20 yards into the Devil 47, and from there, passes to Austin Tribble, Cam Avery, and Mills picked up first downs, Hill ran 10 yards for another, and Lundin carried the ball in from the one with 5:43 to go in the half. Andy Carbajal, making his debut as the conversion kicker, boomed the extra point through the uprights to knot the score at 7, where it remained through halftime.

Eagle Valley continued to put up a fight under 30-year head coach John Ramunno, gained a pair of first downs following the third-quarter kickoff, but Levi Fetterhoff threw Victor Avila for a two yard loss, then batted down a 3rd-and 12 pass to force a punt.

Starting from their 27, the Demons chewed up 4:40 on the clock with a 13-play, 73-yard drive that demonstrated the offensive balance the combination of Lundin and Hill are providing. Hill rushed 7 yards on 3rd-and-6, then Lundin went 7 before Hill converted a 3rd-and-1. After a couple of incompletions, Lundin lofted a swing pass to Hill which he turned upfield for 12 yards; Hill gained 6 on 4th-and-2, and Lundin carried 13, with a late-hit against Eagle moving the ball to the Devil 10. Hill powered to the one, then scored with 4:08 left in the quarter. Carbajal, who was perfect in 4 attempts, booted the PAT for the 14-7 lead.

Eagle still showed resistance, however, and after an exchange of punts, was threatening to tie the score, driving inside the Demon 30 near the quarter\’s end when Avery recovered a fumble. A holding penalty pushed Glenwood back to its 23, but Hill burst 12 yards for a first down on the last play of the third period. The Demons essentially iced the game with an 11-play, 77-yard drive that featured a 22-yard run by Lundin and two 3rd-down conversions by Hill, who sealed the deal with a 17 yard pitch around right end for a 21-7 lead with 8:24 remaining.

The fight finally went out of the Devils, who went 3-and-out and Glenwood drive 80 yards in 13 plays, using 4 minutes, with Lundin running for 43 and Mills taking a shovel pass the final 7 yards with 2:40 to play. Mills, who had 5 receptions in the first four games, has caught 15 for 224 yards and 5 TDs and scored in every game since Lundin became the quarterback.

Hill finished with 181 yards in 29 carries, Lundin adding 89 in 15 attempts, while completing 12-of-20 passes for 116 yards. Eagle Valley, which gained 89 yards on 9 first-quarter rushing attempts, was held to 12 yards in 4 fourth-quarter carries, while quarterback Jordan Hudspeth was 3-of-7 for 21 yards and an interception by Mills near game\’s end.

The Demons (4-4, 3-2 WSL) remain on the outskirts of the three Western Slope League playoff spots, in fourth place, a game ahead of next week\’s opponent, Delta (4-4, 2-3). The other significant game for Glenwood will be Rifle (8-0, 5-0) at Palisade (7-1, 4-1). If the Bears lose, then a Demon win at Rifle in the regular season finale will put Glenwood into the playoffs because of the head-to-head tiebreaker. If the Bears beat the Bulldogs, then Glenwood needs a Palisade loss in its finale at Delta, along with a win at Rifle, to make the post-season.

Click here to listen to the game.

About Jack Jabbour

High school sports analyst
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