Longhorns survive thriller in Paonia | AspenTimes.com

Longhorns survive thriller in Paonia

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

PAONIA, Colo. ” Basalt’s fortunes changed in an instant.

The Longhorns had a 7-point lead and possession with three minutes remaining in Friday’s game against 1A Paonia. But a botched snap resulted in a crucial turnover that allowed the Eagles to tie the game at 14 and force overtime.

In the extra frame, Basalt running back Dalton Jacobsen scored on a blast to the outside on fourth down from the 1-yard-line, then found the end zone for the two-point conversion on a similar play to give the Longhorns a second victory in as many weeks in ther final tune-up before Friday’s home showdown with rival Aspen.

“I told the kids after the game that the coaches and the kids could’ve done a better job in the fourth quarter,” first-year head coach Carl Frerichs said. “If we played more soundly, that game wouldn’t have gone to overtime.

Basalt (2-1) jumped out to the early lead in the first when, after forcing a Paonia turnover inside its own 30, it orchestrated a nearly 70-yard drive. Quarterback Dillon Buck’s 30-yard scamper put the Longhorns ahead, 7-0. Buck threw for more than 100 yards in the game.

Jacobsen stretched the lead to 14 nine seconds before halftime with a short touchdown run. He and Cody Kosinski each rushed for more than 100 yards.

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While he was quick to credit his offensive line, Frerichs said his defense should not be overlooked.

“They moved the ball off and on all night, but we always seemed to come up with the big turnover or the big stop,” he said.

The biggest came in overtime when, after Paonia took the first possession and scored, defensive pressure up the middle forced the Eagles kicker’s extra point to sail wide.

One week after cruising in a 24-6 win over Vista Ridge, the Longhorns needed some late heroics to pull out a win Friday. Still, Frerichs said his team is confident heading into its first league game against the unbeaten Skiers.

“We’re excited,” he said. “We know [Mike]Sirko’s a great coach and we give Aspen a lot of credit. It’s our first league game and we get to come home. The kids are excited to go play.”

jmaletz@aspentimes.com

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