Pollock and Co. sack Bruins, 28-7 | AspenTimes.com

Pollock and Co. sack Bruins, 28-7

Nate Peterson

Paul Conrad/The Aspen TimesBasalt senior fullback Nivardo Javalera (15) evades Cedaredge linebackers Joe Hollis (40), right, and David Laird (34) 10 yards from the goal line while attempting a late first quarter touchdown Friday night. Basalt defeated visiting Cedaredge, 28-7.

As Ben Pollock goes, so goes the Basalt football team.On Friday at home against Cedaredge the dynamic senior running back racked up 144 yards rushing on 19 carries and accounted for 16 of Basalt’s points in a 28-7 rout of visiting Cedaredge. All told, Pollock had 225 all-purpose yards counting kickoff and punt returns.”It feels good put a team away in the second quarter,” Pollock said. “The last two games we jumped out on top in the first quarter, then we couldn’t finish it, but this game we just cruised after we started scoring.”While Pollock seemed to be all over the field, he wasn’t a one-man act, as had been the case in Basalt’s two previous games – an opening loss to Meeker followed by a dramatic 21-18 comeback in last week’s home opener against Grand Valley. The Horns’ defense held the Bruins scoreless up until 29 seconds remained in the third quarter and picked off Cedaredge senior quarterback Brady Rice twice.

The second interception actually led to Cedaredge’s only score on what was a play straight out of a blooper video. Friday’s game was played under a full moon, so that might explain the bizarre set of events.On first and goal for the Bruins from the Longhorns’ 4-yard line, Basalt senior linebacker Jason Troyer picked off Rice, but was then stripped of the ball as he headed up the field. The loose ball bounced directly into the hands of Cedaredge offensive lineman Greg McAdams, who then rumbled into the end zone for the score.Troyer also had a hand in the other interception earlier in the third quarter, which led to Basalt’s final touchdown of the night. Rice dropped back to pass on first down, but was drilled from his blind side by Troyer in the middle of his throwing motion. The ensuing pass floated to Longhorns junior defensive back Chris Fitzgerald. Basalt junior quarterback Tucker Hinchcliffe hooked up with junior wideout Rory Johnson on the very next play for a 33-yard touchdown strike. Johnson ran behind his man on a fade pattern, then came back to the ball in the end zone to make a leaping catch.”We looked at a couple of different opportunities,” Basalt coach Forrest Grosh said. “We are a running team, but we’ve got to utilize our receivers and our quarterbacks when we can and give some guys some breaks. We were just trying to use everything we could on the field.”

The point-after attempt by Pollock was no good, leaving the score at 28-0 with 3:17 remaining.Pollock’s second touchdown run of the night had come just a minute earlier in the game. The ‘Horns drove from their own 15 down to the Bruin’s 36 in five plays. From there, Pollock took a delayed draw from Hinchcliffe, shook two defenders after busting through the line of scrimmage, then darted up the left sideline to the corner of the end zone. Pollock’s first touchdown run was a 6-yard counter with 5:10 remaining in the first quarter. The touchdown capped a nine-play, 68-yard scoring drive on Basalt’s first possession.Hinchcliffe scored Basalt’s second touchdown on a 1-yard plunge on a fourth and goal with 4:41 remaining in the second. The junior also returned the opening second-half kickoff 72 yards all the way down to the Cedaredge 8-yard line. A holding penalty and a fumbled snap pushed the Longhorns backward, however, which led to a Pollock field goal from 35 yards out.

“I would say we still need to work on a few things like penalties and sustaining drives,” Grosh said, “There’s times where we can put the teams out even quicker and up that score a little bit and not even give them that chance. It was good to finally get a victory where we had a little comfort and not have to go down on the last play of the game and be able to play some clock management.” Basalt next plays Friday at Monte Vista at 7 p.m.Nate Peterson’s e-mail address is npeterson@aspentimes.com.