KMTS FOOTBALL: BULLDOGS WEAR DOWN DEMONS IN SECOND HALF

GRAND JUNCTION – Only in the Bible story and the occasional March Madness upset does Goliath lose. The Glenwood Demons found that out when number-one ranked Palisade blew open a close contest with twenty-one unanswered points in the second half for a 42-14 win at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction Thursday.

The Bulldogs (6-1, 2-0 in the Western Slope League) parlayed a fumble recovery at Glenwood’s 12 yard line and a failed fake punt on fourth-down into a 14-0 first-quarter lead, but the Demons responded with a 14-play, 80-yard drive to begin the second quarter.

Luke Gair ran for three first downs and Eliot Dwyer-Walz converted a 4th-and-two before Gavin Olson’s 3-yard touchdown sliced the Bullodgs’ lead in half, 14-7, with 6:02 remaining in the quarter. Palisade’s Jay Bruce returned the ensuing kickoff 48 yards and junior quarterback Cam Tucker broke free up the middle for 28 yards to the Demon 14, setting up Tucker’s 3-yard TD, his third of the first half, for a 21-7 edge. The 2:31 it took to score was Palisade’s longest possession prior to halftime.

Glenwood managed a first down, but had to punt from their 30 before Tucker fumbled the snap, recovered by Glenwood at the Bulldog 47. Junior Dylan Albright entered the game at quarterback for the Demons, completing five straight passes, including a 26-yard catch and run of a tipped pass by starting QB Max Lemkau down to the Palisade six yard line.

Albright rolled left, then threw back over the middle, finding Wyatt Ewer alone in the end zone for the score with 17 seconds on the clock before intermission, drawing Glenwood within 21-14.

The Demons had dominated time of possession with nearly a 17-7 minute advantage in the first half, gaining ten first downs to four by Palisade, but the Dogs opening third-quarter possession demonstrated a reversal of that trend. With Tucker, Bruce, and Cole Tscherter alternating carries, Palisade consumed five minutes in driving 80 yards on the ground, capped by Sebastian Campbell’s 4 yard touchdown, boosting the lead to 28-14.

Ben Sargent, who drilled all 6 of his point after kicks, booted the kickoff into the Demons’ zone for a touchback, one of five for the evening.

Glenwood had gained 120 yards on 32 rushing attempts in the first half, but opened its possession with with Albright completing his sixth straight pass, seven yards to Gair. Two running plays later, the Demons gambled at their own 29 with Olson sweep on 4th-and-one that went nowhere. Tucker ripped off gains of 18 and 11 before going in from the one for a 35-14.

Albright made it eight straight completions with a 9-yarder to Gair, then found Lemkau again for 36 yards to the Bulldog 35. Gair gained a yard, then Albright missed for the first time on a pass to Olson, and his next two attempts were also incomplete, though it appeared a fourth down throw was caught by Olson at the five. The referees disagreed and the quarter ended with the Bulldogs up by 21.

For the first time since the initial quarter, Glenwood forced a Palisade punt, but Albright was flattened from behind as he scrambled, then a shotgun snap went past him for a 16-yard loss. Following a punt to the Bulldog 40, Tucker drove his team the distance on 12 plays, using 6:10, with Bruce scoring from the 6 with 2:22 left in the game.

For the second half, the Demon running game would net minus eight yards in seven attempts. Albright, who left the game after the massive hit he took in the fourth quarter, completed 9-of-13 for 108 yards and the TD to Ewer. Gair led Demon rushers with 63 yards on 11 attempts. Tucker was basically a one-man-gang, gaining 197 yards on 14 attempts and scoring 4 touchdowns. His only pass attempt was incomplete.

The Demons (2-5) fall to 1-1 in league play and travel to Battle Mountain (6-1), which is tied with Palisade atop the WSL at 2-0.

About Jack Jabbour

High school sports analyst
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