Basalt football runs by Aspen 48-22 behind six TDs from Noah Williams |

Basalt football runs by Aspen 48-22 behind six TDs from Noah Williams

Griffen Jenkins of the Basalt Longhorns gets tackled by Aspen Skier Max Ufkes during Aspen's homecoming Friday night.
Anna Stonehouse/The Aspen Times |

Behind a near 300-yard rushing performance from senior tailback Noah Williams, the Basalt High School football team made a loud statement on Friday that the Class 2A Western Slope League was still very much in its control.

The reigning WSL champs rolled to a 48-22 win at previously undefeated Aspen on the Skiers’ homecoming night for their fifth straight win of the season. It was the fourth straight year Basalt beat Aspen.

“As we told the kids, it’s one game,” BHS coach Carl Frerichs said. “I just thought our D-line really came and we really put a lot of emphasis on getting after the quarterback this week.”

The Longhorns bottled up AHS senior quarterback R.J. Peshek and Aspen’s electric offense, while at the same time dominating the trenches on offense. The mismatch looked apparent early, when Aspen was forced into a three-and-out on its first possession and BHS quickly scored off a short Williams touchdown run, the first of six TDs he would have on the night.

Williams, a senior transfer from California, also had four rushing touchdowns last week in a 48-0 win at Steamboat Springs. 

“He’s getting better and better and the kids are getting better reading their blocks,” Frerichs said of Williams. “Our offensive line and Noah Williams were incredible tonight.”

Aspen put together a strong drive on its second possession, but a forced fumble by BHS senior Raul Torres on Peshek gave the ball back to the Longhorns deep in their own territory. Five plays later, Williams ran in for his second score and a 14-0 BHS lead.

Williams added touchdown runs of 18 and 45 yards in the second quarter to give Basalt a 28-0 lead at halftime.

“We dug ourselves a hole and couldn’t get much going offensively with some penalties and loss of yards plays,” AHS coach Karson Pike said. “Guys came out and fought, which we’ve asked them to do all year and that’s what I’m extremely proud of them for. We’ll try to forget this one quickly and move on.”

Basalt took the opening drive of the second half down for a quick score, another long run by Williams. Down 35-0, the Skiers finally found a little bit of swagger.

Aspen’s first points came midway through the third quarter, the first of back-to-back touchdown passes from Peshek to junior receiver Noah Hollander. With the score cut to 35-16 and with possession early in the fourth quarter, Aspen couldn’t capitalize and turned the ball over on downs. Basalt answered with a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Trevor Reuss to ice the game.

Aspen’s final score came on a 31-yard run by sophomore running back Trey Fabrocini with 6:28 to play.

“We are really proud of them because we knew this was going to be one of those games that was a huge game,” Frerichs said, “but at the same time Coal Ridge next Friday is just as important.”

Basalt (5-1 overall, 2-0 WSL) will host Coal Ridge (3-3, 0-2) next week for homecoming. The Titans lost 14-10 at Moffat County on Friday. The Bulldogs are the only other team still undefeated in league play with the Longhorns. They play each other Oct. 20 in Craig.

Aspen, which entered this week’s game No. 10 in 2A, lost for the first time this season. At 5-1 overall and 1-1 in league play, the Skiers still sit in a strong position to potentially snag a playoff spot based on RPI. AHS will host Roaring Fork on Friday.

“It’s going to sting, but it should and we’ll figure out how to better prepare for next week,” Pike said of Friday’s loss. “There is still a chance and we got to take care of business the next three weeks to keep ourselves in position (to make the playoffs).”

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