Aspen football wins big at Grand Valley; Basalt shuts down Paonia to reach 4-0
The Aspen High School football team overcame a slow offensive start to put together its best performance of the season on that side of the ball in a 54-16 rout of Grand Valley on Friday night in Parachute.
In what was homecoming for the Cardinals, Aspen clung to a 12-7 lead late into the second quarter before a wild final few minutes gave the Skiers a 30-7 lead at halftime and Grand Valley wasn’t able to mount a comeback in the second half.
“That was a good one. The boys played well,” AHS coach Travis Benson said. “The guys impressed me with their effort and their resiliency and it was nice to see the offense clicking and a lot of people getting touches and making things happen.”
After a couple of empty possessions, Aspen got on the board with a 42-yard Trey Fabrocini touchdown run. The teams traded a couple of quick scores after that before AHS slammed on the pedal.
After taking an 18-7 lead, Aspen’s Noah Hollander got an interception and one play later quarterback Tyler Ward connected with Max Ufkes on a 69-yard score to suddenly make it 24-7. Ward again found Ufkes not long after another interception, this time by Noah Akin, for the commanding halftime lead.
“A lot of credit goes to Bayfield. They were an incredible defense. But we’ve made our adjustments and got things rolling again,” Benson said, referring to the team’s lone loss of the season at the then No. 1-ranked Wolverines. “A big part of it is the O-line and our running backs establishing the run and getting the run game going. That builds the rest of the offense.”
Aspen continued to pile it on in the second half. The Skiers’ first score in the third quarter came when the defense recovered a bad snap in the end zone, and before the quarter ended it was a 30-yard run by Jonathan Woodrow that made it 42-13.
About the only negative for the AHS offense came on the 2-point conversions, where it finished 0 for 9.
With the loss, Class 1A Grand Valley fell to 1-3 on the season.
Aspen, now 3-1 overall, next heads into 2A Western Slope League play with a trip to Delta (3-1) on Friday.
“We are excited to head into league play,” Benson said. “It’s definitely going to be a situation where we have to get better each week, but we look forward to the challenge.”
Basalt gets third shutout in win at Paonia
It was a defensive grind, but the No. 5-ranked Basalt High School football team won 16-0 Friday at Paonia in what was homecoming for the Eagles. BHS led 6-0 before a crucial field goal by Chace Maytham late in the second quarter gave the Longhorns a 9-0 halftime edge.
“Really, hats off to Paonia,” Basalt coach Carl Frerichs said. “They are a physical, strong team. Their linebackers and D-line are just real physical. They brought it to us tonight.”
Basalt senior Jake Reardon still managed to rush for more than 100 yards and the BHS defense recorded its third shutout in four games. Only Battle Mountain has scored on Basalt this season, a 47-6 loss for the Huskies in Edwards.
“The first series they had the ball we were on our heels a little bit, but the rest of the night I really think we played well defensively,” Frerichs said.
Basalt, 4-0, will open 2A WSL play at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29, at Moffat County.
When asked if he is receiving any insider information on the terrain, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde — the boyfriend of Edwards’ own Mikaela Shiffrin — chuckled and replied, “You probably think so, but I actually I don’t.”