Offense carries Longhorn football to a 41-33 victory over Battle Mountain | AspenTimes.com

Offense carries Longhorn football to a 41-33 victory over Battle Mountain

Basalt junior quarterback Trevor Reuss throws against Battle Mountain on Friday. The Longhorns won 41-33.

After the Basalt High School football team's defense carried much of the load the past two games, its offense was given the chance to return the favor on Friday at home against Battle Mountain.

In a contest that saw little defense until late, the Longhorns won their third game in a row with a 41-33 nail biter over the Class 3A Huskies.

"The offense did phenomenal," BHS coach Carl Frerichs said. "They couldn't stop us. Offensively, without that, we don't win that game. Because we didn't play very well defensively."

It only took a play for the Longhorn offense to get going. On the first play from scrimmage, BHS junior quarterback Trevor Reuss connected with senior tight end Raul Torres for an 80-yard touchdown and a quick 7-0 lead.

The teams would trade scores the rest of the half. The Huskies answered with a short touchdown run on their first possession, only to have Basalt counter with a short TD run by junior Jake Reardon, set up by a 63-yard pass and catch from Reuss to senior Juan Rosario.

Leading 14-13, BHS extended its lead with a 19-yard touchdown run by senior receiver Griffen Jenkins on a reverse with less than five minutes to play in the second quarter. Battle Mountain got it back, scoring with 12 seconds to play in the quarter.

Recommended Stories For You

BHS led 21-19 at halftime.

Battle Mountain briefly took the lead in the second half, scoring on a long touchdown run on its first possession out of the locker room. Down 26-21, BHS answered with a long drive, finishing it with another Jenkins touchdown run off a reverse.

Finally, late in the third quarter, the defense started to take a stand. Junior Jake Reuss recovered a Battle Mountain fumble, and the BHS offense took advantage with a 20-yard touchdown run from fullback Colin Hipona soon after. The score gave BHS a 35-26 lead with less than two minutes to go in the third.

"Those turnovers were really the difference in the game for us on defense," Frerichs said. "We were on our heels the whole game."

The Huskies got back to within a possession after a score made it 35-33 with less than eight minutes to play in the fourth quarter. But Basalt's offense again came through, grinding five minutes off the clock on a drive that ended with a third touchdown run by Jenkins, again on a reverse.

A penalty on the extra point try led to a crucial missed kick.

Trailing by eight with less than three minutes to play, Battle Mountain started to put together a drive. Then came Jenkins, who delivered a monstrous hit on a Husky receiver, forcing the fumble after the catch, which Rosario recovered to put the game to rest.

The loss sends Battle Mountain to 2-2 overall after a 2-0 start.

Basalt, ranked No. 10 in Class 2A this week in the CHSAANow.com poll, moved to 3-1 overall. The Longhorns start Western Slope League play next week at Steamboat Springs.

"I'm really proud that we are 3-1, but like always the next game is all that matters," Frerichs said. "The Steamboat Sailors are going to be coming."

acolbert@aspentimes.com