Basalt, Aspen football make easy work of opponents, dropping Titans, Rams | AspenTimes.com

Basalt, Aspen football make easy work of opponents, dropping Titans, Rams

Coal Ridge fumble. Longhorn touchdown.

Extrapolate that out by a few more possessions and that's how the Basalt High School football team cruised to a 54-14 homecoming win over the Titans on Friday night.

"We tell our kids all the time, I think one stat in high school football probably decides the game more than anything else and that is turnovers," Basalt coach Carl Frerichs said. "The defense is definitely playing hard and I think some of our blitzes were getting in there and caused some havoc."

Coal Ridge (3-4 overall, 0-3 WSL) lost five fumbles and threw one interception and never had much of a chance against No. 8 Basalt, a team that moved to 6-1 on the season and stayed perfect at 3-0 in the Class 2A Western Slope League.

It didn't take long for the Longhorns to establish dominance against the Titans. Coal Ridge fumbled only a couple plays into the game and on the first offensive carry BHS senior running back Noah Williams went 39 yards to the end zone for a 7-0 Basalt lead.

A quick stop led to another quick BHS score, a short Ernesto Lopez run, and Basalt led 14-0 less than halfway through the first quarter. The score became 21-0 late in the quarter when Williams scored his second TD from 4 yards out.

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"In all honesty, our offensive line and Noah Williams…. Noah is just special right now," Frerichs said. "The way he is running, the way he is playing, we are tough to stop on offense."

Williams, playing in his one and only season with Basalt, has been the workhorse for Basalt the past three games. He rushed for a combined 10 touchdowns against Steamboat Springs and Aspen — carrying the ball for 287 yards against the Skiers — and added four more scores against Coal Ridge, giving him 14 in only three league games. He now has 17 rushing touchdowns on the season.

Williams scored his third touchdown from 7 yards out early in the second quarter to make it 28-0 Basalt. A few minutes later, Basalt junior quarterback Trevor Reuss found senior receiver Griffen Jenkins on a 3-yard touchdown connection and it was 35-0 BHS with 6:07 to play until halftime.

Coal Ridge's only points of the first half came on a kickoff return for a score soon after, but another Williams touchdown just before halftime made it 41-7 Basalt after two quarters.

A 28-yard touchdown run by Jake Reardon midway through the third quarter made it 47-7 and the running clock made quick work of the remainder of the game. Reardon also scored from 1 yard out to end the third quarter.

Next, Basalt heads to Moffat County on Friday with a chance to lock up back-to-back league titles. The Bulldogs are 4-3 overall but also 3-0 in WSL play after Friday's 41-13 win over Steamboat Springs. While a BHS win would secure a league title for the Longhorns with only a game against winless Roaring Fork remaining after that, Moffat County still has to face Aspen in the season finale in a game that could have a lot of significance.

"I'm really excited for ours kids, but it really all comes down to Moffat," Frerichs said. "For us, personally, we control our own destiny with winning on Friday."

Aspen beat Roaring Fork 64-6 on Friday at home, with most of the damage coming in the first half. AHS was coming off its first loss of the season last week, when it fell 48-22 to Basalt on homecoming.

"We came out kind of firing on all cylinders," AHS coach Karson Pike said of the win over the Rams. "Guys really showed the hungriness and the passion coming off the tough loss to Basalt. We came out pretty sharp and obviously that shows."

The Skiers, now 6-1 overall and 2-1 in league play, are at Steamboat Springs (1-6, 1-2) on Friday before closing out the regular season at home on Oct. 27 against Moffat County.

acolbert@aspentimes.com