GLENWOOD SPRINGS (10-8-10) — Formidable challenges remain ahead, but the 2010 Glenwood Springs football team is beginning to exhibit some of the characteristics of the ’08 state champions. The strongest case, demonstrated once again in the Demons’ 35-7 win over Moffat County Friday to run their league record to 3-0, is Glenwood’s continuing third quarter domination — and especially on its first possession after halftime.
For the fourth time in six games this season, the Demons, leading just 14-7, put together a scoring drive on their first opportunity in the third quarter — this time, sparked by a 31 yard kickoff return by Michael Mills to the 46, going 54 yards in six plays, culminating in one of Luke Jacob’s three touchdowns, giving him 8 in the last four games since sitting out the Montrose loss, which, not coincidentally, was one of the games where Glenwood failed to score on that initial possession after halftime.
This devastating propensity to score first in the second half has kick-started Glenwood to an overall 50-13 scoring edge in that quarter. One of the major challenges to matching the 2008 Demons’ championship march (scoring on their initial second-half possession nine times on the way to a 14-0 season, including the final three playoff games) will be reducing the pile of penalty flags this Glenwood team continues to accumulate. Defensive offsides on a 4th-and-3 attempt kept a Bulldog drive alive in the first quarter that concluded with sophomore quarterback Bubba Ivers taking an option run 35 yards for a 7-0 lead with 3:02 left.
Glenwood exerted another mark of a champion by answering on the first play following Austin Tribble’s 35 yard kick return when Jacob sliced through the right side for a 59 yard TD run. JD Weeden, who has made 11 straight extra point kicks beginning with the game-winner against Palisade, knotted the score at 7 with 2:40 to go in the quarter.
With Levi Fetterhoff, Chad Montover, and Nick Ciani making key defensive plays, the defense forced back-to-back Bulldog punts, with Braeden Sullivan’s attempt from the MCHS 11-yard line wobbling out of bounds at the 20. Again, it took Jacob just one play — this time hitting Cam Avery for the score that gave Glenwood a 14-7 lead with 6:14 to go in the half.
Ivers connected on his first pass of the game to start an 11 play drive for a halftime tie that was thwarted when Alberto Ramirez and Willie Pelland sandwiched him on a fourth-down option run that came up four yards short on the Demon 23.
The Demons took control of the game in the third quarter, beginning with the opening drive that included an 18 yard strike from Jacob to Pelland and some masterful ball-faking by Jacob that resulted in an 11 yard run by Montover to the one-yard line. “I needed to improve my fakes,” Jacob said in a post-game interview, and then executed another one on the scoring play that saw him go in from the one, 2:39 into the quarter.
Five minutes later, Montover halted a nine-play Bulldog drive by recovering Ivers’ fumble at the Glenwood 41. The Demons overcame a holding penalty (they had 12 flags for 90 yards in the game) that pushed them into a 3rd-and-16, when Jacob connected with Tribble in stride for 44 yards along, which, with a face mask penalty, moved the ball to the MCHS 10. Jacob optioned to off right tackle to put the game out of reach, 28-7, with 3:09 left in the quarter.
An interception by Collin Thornton at the Bulldog 40 set up a five-play drive midway through the fourth quarter and Jacob scored his third TD of the game with a 26-yard balance-beam jaunt. Ivers passed for four first downs following Weeden’s touchback on the kickoff, but the senior kicker put an end to the drive with the Demons third interception of the game.
Jacob rolled up 123 yards on 10 carries to go with his three scores. Drew Halsch, who carried only three times for 11 yards in the first half, became a factor after that, totaling 93 yards on 12 tries for the game. Jacob passed for 117 yards on 7-of-12 attempts, while Ivers finished 7-of-14 for 112 yards and rushed for 108 yards on 19 carries.
Glenwood (3-0, 5-1) travels to Steamboat Springs (0-3, 0-6) this Friday. The Sailors, after playing in the 3A state championship game last season, nearly got their first win before falling 10-7 to Delta at home, but were drilled 26-7 by Rifle (3-0, 5-1) last weekend. The Bears, tied with Glenwood atop the WSL, will host Delta (2-1, 4-2) in a pivotal game while Palisade (2-1, 4-1) goes to Eagle Valley (1-2, 2-3).