Mistake-prone Aspen football falls to Hotchkiss, 44-20 | AspenTimes.com

Mistake-prone Aspen football falls to Hotchkiss, 44-20

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

HOTCHKISS, Colo. – Rueben Burbach wasn’t sure if he was going to head home after Friday’s game in Hotchkiss or spend the night breaking down the game film.

“We have a lot of work to do,” the Aspen coach said.

After two wins to start the season, the Skiers (2-1) were exposed and humbled. They turned the ball over five times, could do little to slow the Bulldogs’ bruising option attack, and at one point trailed 30-0. They traded scores in the second half and fell, 44-20.

“If you look at the kids’ faces, they know they didn’t live up to the standard set here the last four years,” Burbach said. “We had them turn in their black shirts today on defense. They don’t deserve to keep those. Offensively … you can’t drop balls, fumble and throw interceptions and expect to win the game.

“[The first half] was probably the worst half of football we’ve seen in the new era here.”

Aspen generated just one first down in the first 24 minutes. Hotchkiss, meanwhile, moved the ball at will. It marched right down the field on its opening possession, then, following a Skiers turnover, punched the ball into the end zone again. By the time the two squads jogged to the locker rooms, the Bulldogs had a comfortable 24-0 advantage.

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“They pounded it right at us, and we had no answer. They ran right over us, and our kids know that,” Burbach said. “It was the same thing all half – turnover, they score, punt, they score. I felt like we were kind of shell-shocked and didn’t respond well at all.”

Aspen, fourth in The Denver Post’s latest 2A media poll, overcame a 15-point deficit to win when the two teams squared off last fall. This time around, the Skiers could not keep up with one of 1A’s pre-eminent programs.

“There really wasn’t one good thing to say about it,” Burbach said. “Everything went wrong. They were the best team we played up to this point, but I definitely think we’re better than we showed.”

The Skiers will to look to rebound Friday, when they open 2A Western Slope play in Gunnison.

jmaletz@aspentimes.com

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