GLENWOOD SPRINGS(10-22-10) — A steady downpour that drowned Glenwood's passing game mattered little as the Demons ran all over Eagle Valley, 33-6, outrushing the Devils, 253 yards to 99, and essentially settling the outcome by the second play of the second quarter.
That was a 41-yard touchdown run by quarterback Luke Jacob after a magical fake to Drew Halsch that froze the Devil defense and gave Glenwood a 21-0 lead after its first three possessions, with over 11 minutes remaining until halftime.
The soggy field conditions undoubtedly accounted for Jacob's 0-fer passing night (0-for-9, with both completions called back by penalty), save a two-point conversion to Austin Tribble, but his opposing QB, James Van Slyke, fared little better (1-for-10, for one yard) and it was the ground game that left the Demons (7-1, 5-0 WSL) as the only undefeated team left in the Western Slope League.
Previously unbeaten Rifle (6-2, 4-1) fell into a second-place tie with Palisade (7-1, 4-1) as the Bears were beaten by an overtime field goal at Moffat County, 21-18.
Glenwood wasted no time asserting their ground domination, using six running plays to go 60 yards in the first three minutes of the game. Halsch set the tone by bursting out of a scrimmage line scrum for 20 yards on the Demons initial play, and followed up with another 13 yards on the next one. Halsch, who would match his season high with 184 yards (in 15 carries), accounted for all but the final six yards of the drive, which Jacob swallowed up on an option to the right side, where Blaze Barham, Logan Holmberg and Nick Ciani had their way all night long.
The next possession took longer because of a blocking penalty and three incomplete passes, but Jacob and Halsch continued to slash through the Devil D, piling up four first downs in a 12-play, 57 yard drive. Jacob's slight of hand to Halsch led to the senior QB's 21 yard counter to the three, and this time his backfield partner did the honors. A two-point conversion pass to Tribble made up for a missed PAT earlier and gave Glenwood a 14-0 lead with 2:25 left in the first quarter.
Fullback Chad Montover joined the ground attack with a 16 yard dash over the right side on the final play of the period. Jacob was sacked on the initial second-quarter attempt, but a reversion to the running game all but settled the outcome on the next play and left Glenwood up 21-0 at halftime.
As they have in six of their eight games, the Demons scored on their opening possession of the second half — this time in spectacular fashion as Halsch made his final carry of the game one to remember, going 90 yards down the left sideline thanks to crushing down-field blocks from Jacob and Tribble. A 24-yard punt return by Michael Mills to the EVHS 33 set up the final Glenwood score with Jake Bair covering the distance on three carries, the last coming from the 4-yard line with 6:49 left in the third quarter.
Eagle Valley features the double-slot, double-tight end formation that Glenwood ran before coach Rocky Whitworth introduced the spread formation that would showcase Dakota Stonehouse's talents and now has Jacob poised to break the 1,000-yard running and passing marks for the second straight season. Combined with the increasingly sloppy field and Glenwood's hard-hitting defense, the Devils had to punt on their first eight possessions of the game until being stopped on downs at the Demon 46 in the first minute of the fourth quarter.
Jacob finished with 94 yards on six carries and has now scored 10 touchdowns and rushed for 791 yards in six games (sitting out the 6-0 Montrose loss with a concussion). Halsch now has accumulated 971 yards and 13 touchdowns and has surpassed 100 yards in four of the Demons' eight contests.
Next Friday Glenwood, ranked third in the Colorado Preps 3A poll (6th in the Denver Post), will travel to Delta (5-3, 3-2), which is tied with Moffat County (4-4, 3-2) for fourth place in the WSL after edging Battle Mountain 25-19. Rifle, which was ranked in the top ten (9th) for the first time since 2007 this past week, will host fourth-ranked Palisade Friday.