EDWARDS (10/1/10) — “Every game is a championship game,” Drew Halsch said after Glenwood Springs scored on five of its first six possessions in defeating Battle Mountain 35-21 Friday. The senior running back, who scored three of those touchdowns while piling up 161 yards in 21 carries, was repeating the team’s motto for the season from the coaching staff.
Quarterback Luke Jacob, who tallied the other two TDs in adding 73 yards in 12 carries, echoed the mantra: ” We did not want to underestimate these guys. Coach said to take each game as the championship.” And while coach Rocky Whitworth was recovering from foot surgery on a broken bone, his team — under the direction of assistant coach Neil Goluba, was following orders.
Halsch carried the ball on all five plays of the Demons’ opening drive, covering 56 yards and JD Weeden boomed the first of five perfect point-after kicks for an early 7-0 lead, and after a poor punt by the Huskies was downed at the Battle Mountain 32, it was Jacob’s turn. After being sacked on the first play of the series, then nearly throwing an interception, Jacob took a 3rd-and-15 option carry 37 yards for the score with 5:58 left in the first period.
Battle Mountain, without its starting quarterback, Jake Engle, got a 72 yard TD explosion down the left sideline by Engle’s replacement, Reeve Sanders, to close the gap to 14-7 just a minute and 44 seconds later.
Glenwood answered by putting together four first downs, but for the only time in the first half, the Demons failed to score when a fourth down pass was incomplete at the BMHS 20. The defense adjusted to Sanders, twice trapping him behind the line in three carries, forcing another weak punt, taken by Michael Mills at the Huskie 43. Five plays later, with Halsch’s 27 yard burst the key run, Jacob scored from the two.
The defense – led by Jesus Salinas, Brian Ochoa, and Collin Thornton, stopped Sanders on a fourth-and-one from the Huskie 29, leading to another Glenwood touchdown — despite two procedure penalties against the Demons, when Halsch scored from the six for a 28-7 lead with 56 seconds left in the half.
Jacob completed three passes, including two for 22 yards to leading receiver Austin Tribble (16 catches for 152 yards through 5 games), overcame another procedure call and a bobbled snap, to drive the Demons 60 yards in 10 plays after halftime. The opening drive, concluding with a 5 yard TD from Halsch, put Glenwood ahead 35-7. The Demons scored again on their next possession, but the 47 yard breakaway run by Halsch was nullified by a holding penalty, and the coaches began sending in substitutes.
Attempting only his second pass of the game, Sanders’ fourth-down try fell incomplete on the first play of the fourth quarter at the Demon 44. Jake Bair plunged for a 4th-and-one first down and Travis Lundin replaced Jacob at quarterback. Following a fumbled pitch, Glenwood punted for the first time in the contest.
Sanders (65 yards) and Chris Libertini (48 yards) were able to tack on a pair of consolation breakaway scores in the time remaining, but Glenwood improved its Western Slope record to 2-0, tied with Rifle, also 2-0 after a 7-6 win at Eagle Valley. Both teams are 4-1 overall.
In other Western Slope games, Palisade (1-1, 4-1), which suffered its only loss of the season, 21-20 to Glenwood last weekend, rebounded by blasting the Demons’ next opponent, Moffat County (1-1, 2-3), 36-6 in Craig. Delta, after losing to Moffat County, 26-7 at home the week before, went to Steamboat (0-2, 0-5) and edged the Sailors, 10-7.