Football: Basalt gives Faith Christian a scare, unravels in second half | AspenTimes.com

Football: Basalt gives Faith Christian a scare, unravels in second half

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

When Faith Christian finally hit its stride, Basalt could not keep pace.

The 12th-seeded Longhorns gave the No. 5 Eagles quite a scare in Saturday’s playoff opener in Arvada, jumping out a 9-6, halftime lead. High-powered Faith Christian regrouped in the second half, however, against a visibly weary Basalt defense, erupting for five touchdowns – three on passes of 30 or more yards from quarterback Alex Buchmann – and cruised to a 40-21 win.

“The kids just ran out of gas,” Longhorns head coach Carl Frerichs conceded. “The momentum started going their way … and they out-schemed and out-executed us. That combination was a bad combination for us.”

Basalt (7-4) jumped out to a first-quarter lead on a 38-yard field goal from Bertillio Garcia. The drive could have produced seven points; the Longhorns had a touchdown pass negated by an illegal pick call, Frerichs said.

The reigning state champions answered back. Tailback Issac Henry capped a long drive with an 8-yard touchdown scamper near the end of the first quarter. The Eagles (9-2) missed the extra point.

Basalt produced the lone score – a 5-yard touchdown run from Zach Mobilian – during a seesaw second quarter and took a 9-6 lead into the break.

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“We could’ve won this game. We had them on the ropes,” Frerichs said. “We were definitely excited and felt like we matched up well. We just didn’t execute in the second half.”

The Longhorns’ offense sputtered in the third quarter. Faith Christian took advantage and seized control.

Tailback Oran Tool scored on touchdown runs of 14 and 20 yards, and Buchmann hooked up with receiver Nolan Beasley for a 30-yard touchdown, giving the Eagles a 26-9, third-quarter lead.

Buchmann connected with Beasley once more in the fourth, this time on a 68-yard strike. Later, he hit Dillon Tucker for a 46-yard score to all but put the game out of reach.

“It was fourth-and-14 and [Buchmann] rolled out. I still believe he passed the line of scrimmage [before making the throw],” Frerichs said. “That broke our back. We kind of came back and regrouped … but that really was the nail in the coffin.

“The kids started missing tackles. They were wearing out. That happens when you go toe-to-toe with such a good team.”

Sam Morrison and Johnny Madrano scored on touchdown runs of 10 and 2 yards, respectively, for Basalt down the stretch.

The Longhorns, making their first postseason appearance in 27 years, could pull no closer.

“It’s almost harder to lose when you’re winning at halftime,” Frerichs said. “We proved we could play with anyone and beat anyone. … I couldn’t be prouder of the guys.”