Football: Longhorns rally past Pirates | AspenTimes.com

Football: Longhorns rally past Pirates

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

One play just might have saved Basalt’s season.

Facing a 7-3 deficit and a third-and-10 in the fourth quarter Friday in Pagosa Springs, head coach Carl Frerichs decided to dial up a pass play. His offense delivered. Wide receiver Tim Johnson hauled in a pass from quarterback Matt Williams for a 40-yard touchdown to put the Longhorns on top for good.

They recovered a fumble in the final minute to seal a 10-7 victory over the Pirates and snap a two-game skid. Basalt now is 2-2 overall and 1-1 in 2A Western Slope play.

“We didn’t play so hot, but we came away with the win,” Frerichs said. “Our defense played awesome. We shut them out.”

Basalt struck first with a 34-yard field goal from Bertilio Garcia, one set up by a 40-yard completion from Williams to Josh Andrade, on its first drive of the game.

Garcia lined up for a 53-yarder midway through the second quarter, but his attempt was blocked and subsequently returned for a touchdown, giving the Pirates a 7-3 advantage at the half.

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Pagosa Springs, which was without injured tailback Clay Ross – who proved difficult to bring down last week in Aspen – struggled to move the ball all night.

“Fabian Martinez was incredible on both sides of the line, and Jonny Madrano at middle linebacker really shut down the running game,” Frerichs said. “Andrade really helped, too, with four or five catches for 100 yards.”

After the Williams-Johnson connection, Basalt forced a turnover on downs and appeared poised to run out the clock before an untimely fumble. The Longhorns defense stood tall again, however, forcing a fumble and falling on the ball with 50 seconds to play.

“Last week was unbelievably tough, so the kids are excited,” Frerichs said, referencing his team’s 42-0 home loss to Bayfield. “We need to get back to work and get a lot better before Gunnison.”

jmaletz@aspentimes.com