GRAND JUNCTION (9/23/10) — A pair of 50-yard runs by Glenwood Springs quarterback Luke Jacob proved to be the difference in a stirring 21-20 fourth-quarter comeback win over the previously undefeated and second-ranked Palisade Bulldogs Thursday at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction.

What is unusual about the plays by Jacob is the first one – on the last play of the first half, prevented Jamr Rhodes from returning an interception for a touchdown that would’ve put Palisade up by two scores. Instead, with frustrated Bulldog coach John Arledge racing toward the referees holding up one finger in a futile effort to get one second restored to the clock, the Demons jogged off the field down just 14-8 despite ten first-half penalties that bogged down their offense.

With about ten seconds left in the second quarter, Jacob had launched a pass that Rhodes picked off near midfield and appeared to have clear sailing to the GSHS end zone. But instead of being a spectator, Jacob took a hard pursuit angle and caught the speedy Bulldog senior at the one-yard line… and time had expired, despite Aldridge’s protests, so Palisade couldn’t take advantage of what could have been the most costly of Jacob’s three interceptions during the game.

Palisade did score in the third period and led 20-8 going into the final quarter. After an incomplete pass, Jacob found room behind a lead block by Drew Halsch, broke through the secondary and went 50 yards — in the other direction from his halftime sprint, to draw Glenwood within six, 20-14.

Jacob hit Cam Avery and Austin Tribble with key third-down passes in a fourth quarter drive that tied the score when Halsch went over from the four yard line, and JD Weeden gave Glenwood its only lead of the game by booting the extra point.

Chris Ayala and Nick Ciani sacked sophomore QB Luke McLean twice on the Bulldogs’ final drive, but a fourth-down interference call kept Palisade’s hopes of retaining their second ranking in state 3A polls alive. The Demon secondary was up to the task, forcing four straight incompletions to clinch the victory which was the Western Slope opener for both teams.

Glenwood (3-1, 1-0) will travel to Battle Mountain next weekend.
(More game details to come in a later KMTS web story)