A one-sided Friday night fight
Aspens Beau Seguin was knocked out of last years game against Basalt after dislocating his shoulder. Friday night, it was the Longhorns defense that took the big hit. Rather than play it conservatively with 53 seconds to play in the first half after taking over at their own 41-yard line, the Skiers decided to go long and go for the kill. Aspen decided to split Seguin out wide as Basalt crowded the box with eight players. Skiers quarterback Anderson Cole took the snap, faded outside the pocket, then fired a strike down the left sideline. Seguin blew past a backpedaling cornerback, caught the ball in stride and sprinted untouched into the end zone. The score, Seguins third of the first half, stretched the visiting Skiers lead to 24-0. They tacked on 17 points in the second, compiled nearly 400 yards of total offense and their defense held the Longhorns running game in check in a 41-0 league-opening rout.You just do what you can to get your kids ready and you hope they play like this, but I never thought it would be this kind of score, said Mike Sirko, who is 11-3 as Aspen head coach. Thats a statement.Sirko should be used to such declarations. Through four games, his Skiers (4-0 overall, 1-0 2A Western Slope) have scored an average of 47 points per game while the defense has held opponents to six or fewer three times. Aspen resorted to some new schemes to clear this latest hurdle. While Aspen was able to run at will during the seasons first three weeks, the Longhorns tried to shut down the Skiers ground game early.Basalt (2-2, 0-1) packed the box during Aspens first possession in the opening quarter. The Skiers, who took over at the Basalt 29 after a 15-yard punt, moved the ball just 23 yards in 10 plays (six of them were runs and one a botched snap). The Skiers were stopped inside the 10 on third down and had to settle for the first of two 25-yard Daniel Munger field goals.I could tell they were keying on me, they stuffed the run and made it tough to get yards, Seguin said.We knew wed have to throw if we wanted to win this game, Sirko added.Aspen did just that. Cole connected with receiver Tommy Mines for 17 yards on the first play of the Skiers second drive late in the first quarter. Two plays later, he hit Nicky Ufkes for 12 yards, and later hit Mike Schwartz on a bootleg to the right that picked up 12 yards and pushed the ball to the Longhorns 1. Seguin plowed up the middle for the score one play later, stretching the lead to 10.Cole then capped a 13-play third drive with a well-timed slant to Seguin, who sped past two defenders for the 15-yard score six minutes before halftime. Anderson really stepped up, Sirko said. We didnt have to throw much in the first few games, but we always believed he could. I think he now believes he can a little bit more, too.And so should the rest of the Slope. In the first 16 minutes alone, Cole led scoring drives on four of the Skiers five possessions and tossed two touchdown passes. The exclamation point came when he and Seguin connected a second time, this one for 51 yards, with less than a minute remaining in the half.Beau and Nicky switch off at receiver, and Im comfortable with both, said Anderson, who completed 11 of 16 passes for 194 yards and scored four touchdowns (one rushing). Im definitely getting more comfortable in the passing game. They did a great job protecting me.The Aspen defense did a great job protecting the lead. The Longhorns could muster just 35 yards of offense in a first half in which they went four plays and out on their first four possessions. They decided to try and convert a fourth-and-5 from the Aspen 40 on their fifth possession, but a wide-open Taylor Mills let Dillon Bucks pass slip through his hands. Cole and Seguin made Basalt pay one play later.We did think it would be a tough game right off the bat, but then they split me outside and we took had some kills with the deep balls, Seguin said. [Cole] threw the ball right on the money to me every time.Cole capped a 12-play, 4 1/2-minute drive to open the third quarter with a 1-yard keeper . He then connected once more with Seguin on a well-executed curl route for a 31-yard score that stretched the lead to 38.This is a tough one to swallow, but they came in here and beat us so we give them all the credit, said Basalt head coach Carl Frerichs, whose team was riding a two-game win streak into Fridays game. They made the big plays at the crucial times, and I dont think we played as well as we could.The Longhorns will look to rebound Friday at 7 p.m. against visiting Cedaredge, the same time the Skiers host Cedaredge for firstname.lastname@example.org
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