KMTS Football: Seniors Salute Stubler in Fitting Style

GLENWOOD SPRINGS (10/25/19) – Alpha and Omega: the First and Last was celebrated by fourteen seniors on Glenwood Springs’ football team after a 45-8 win over Battle Mountain in their final home game at Nick Stubler Field.

Kneeling in front of parents, students, and fans, senior co-captains Kelton McPherson, Spencer Cloud, Sam Fitzwilliams, and Elliott Walz led their teammates in a cherished tradition, singing the Demon Fight Song, for the first time this season and the last time in their high school careers.

With five minutes left in the first quarter, there was little doubt as to the outcome. Elliott Walz had scored on a 21-yard run on the Demons’ first possession, followed by a six-yard tackle for loss of the league’s leading rusher, Hezekiah Gongaware, by Fitzwilliams and Blake Nieslanik, among others, resulting in a safety. Jeremy Bradshaw returned the ensuing kickoff 25 yards to the Huskies’ 43, and four plays later Garrett Dollahan scored from 12 yards out. After Tyler Thomas’s second of five extra point kicks, Glenwood led 16-0.

Battle Mountain managed a first down on quarterback Kai Haggen’s two-yard sneak, but another tackle for loss by Kelton McPherson and a fourth-down incompletion turned the ball over to the Demons at midfield. Evan Heyl’s first pass attempt resulted in a fourth-down sack to end the quarter.

The Glenwood defense, which would limit Battle Mountain to a net seven yards in the first half, forced a punt, followed by a six-play, 73-yard scoring drive, with Dylan Albright taking in an 8-yard counter play at 7:34.

An exchange of fumbles resulted in an ill-advised 4th-and 17 try by Battle Mountain at its own four yard line that was stopped for no gain. One play later, it was Tucker Porter’s turn to find the end zone, for a 30-0 Demon lead with 4:49 to go until halftime.

A pass interference call gave the Huskies their third first-down of the half, but a bad snap on another fourth-down attempt was recovered by Kelton McPherson at the Battle Mountain 37. Heyl lofted a pass downfield that Albright outfought a defender for, taking the ball down to the six-yard line. Thorin Melby became the fourth senior running back for the Demons to score on the next play for a 37-0 lead with 3:07 remaining.

A 33-yard field goal try by Thomas was partially blocked as time expired in the half, setting up an honoring of the seniors and their parents during intermission.

McPherson registered the fourth sack of Haggen on yet another failed fourth-down try by Battle Mountain four plays after the second-half kickoff, giving Glenwood possession at the Husky 25. A preview of next year’s backfield featured a 13-yard run by junior Dollahan and nine yard sweep by sophomore Nieslanik, who scored the Demons’ sixth rushing TD from the one with 8:32 to go, igniting the 40-point mercy rule, a running clock for the remainder of the game.

The third quarter quickly vanished and with the insertion of defensive backups in the fourth, Battle Mountain’s Anthony Sanchez broke off a pair of 20-yard runs, ending in his 4-yard touchdown with 8:41 to go in the game.

Glenwood sophomore quarterback Ray Rosenmerken delighted the Demon faithful, launching a 27-yard completion to sophomore Sawyer McKenney before the young Demons allowed time to expire, and sang their final tribute, kneeling before the Glenwood stands.

Porter, a senior who played tackle last season, led the Demon ground attack with 84 yards in ten carries, all in the first half. Walz , who also didn’t play offense after halftime, contributed 78 yards in eight attempts. The Demons’ totals of 275 yards rushing and 15 first-downs were second only to the 353 and 21 respectively achieved against Eagle Valley. Glenwood amassed 333 total yards to 98 for the Huskies, who also fumbled seven times, losing three

In a 2-6 season (2-1, Western Slope League), the Demons’ only other victory came in their league opener at the Devils’ Hot Stuff Stadium in Gypsum, two weeks ago. Coming into the final home game of the year, Glenwood resided in a four-way tie for second place in the WSL behind undefeated Palisade (5-3, 3-0), 49-8 winners over Eagle (3-5, 1-2). The win sets up a showdown for the runner-up spot in frigid Frisco next week with Summit County (3-5, 2-1), which defeated Steamboat Springs (3-5, 1-2), 19-7.

About Jack Jabbour

High school sports analyst
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