Football: Aspen looks to bounce back at home, Basalt hopes to carry on
The Aspen High School football team seems to have taken last week’s loss in stride. Coming off a 20-8 defeat at No. 1 Bayfield on Saturday, the Skiers now look toward their home opener Friday night against Cedaredge.
“There were some small victories within the overall loss, but the kids were really excited to get back out and practice and prove that what they did on Saturday was for real,” AHS associate head coach Alex Wood said. “A little more bumps and bruises than usual after playing a big football team like that down there, but the kids are really excited to get back on the field.”
Aspen (1-1) was electric on offense in the season opener, a 38-26 win at Meeker. In that game, sophomore quarterback Tyler Ward connected with senior wideout Noah Hollander five times for scores. Against Bayfield, the Skiers had to rely on its defense to keep them in the game. Aspen’s only points came off a Nick Spicer pick-6 in the first half.
Still, that was more points than most of Bayfield’s opponents have put on the board since the beginning of last season. The Wolverines won the 2A state championship in 2017 behind eight shutouts.
“We definitely came out strong,” AHS junior running back/linebacker Trey Fabrocini said. “We just couldn’t really connect on offense that day. I think we are very confident going into Cedaredge. If we play like we did against Bayfield, we can definitely come out on top.”
Cedaredge (1-1) is similar in many ways to Bayfield, although not quite as big or as complex. The Bruins beat Steamboat Springs 34-26 in their season opener before falling 41-27 last week at Buena Vista.
“They run a very similar offense, a very similar defense. They definitely have some bigger kids,” Wood said of Cedaredge. “They use those kids to their strengths, but that’s why we like to play fast and do our own thing. Don’t want to play phone booth football, and we never will.”
Aspen and Cedaredge have played each year since 2014. The Bruins won the first three of those matchups, including a 42-8 win in Aspen in 2016. The Skiers finally got the best of them in 2017, winning 40-0 in Cedaredge. The Bruins finished 4-5 last season, their worst record since going 4-6 in 2011, the year before they won the 1A state championship.
“I remember my freshman year, they came out here and beat us bad,” Fabrocini said. “We got to seize this. We really want to impress our hometown and show them what we got. We’ve had a lot of doubts since a bunch of great seniors left, and I think we can make our mark.”
Friday’s 7 p.m. game with Cedaredge is the first of only three home games for the Skiers this season. The only other times Aspen will get to play on the AHS turf are Oct. 5 against Moffat County and Oct. 19 against Coal Ridge.
“I’m just glad that we get a home game to get back on track and start playing offense the way we want,” Wood said. “We had flashes of greatness in that Meeker game and we want to get back to that good stuff there.”
BASALT FOOTBALL TO FACE PAGOSA SPRINGS FRIDAY
The Basalt High School football team didn’t have many issues last week in a 47-6 win at Battle Mountain. Any problems that plagued its offense in a 28-0 win over Olathe in the season opener weren’t present in Edwards.
“I was really proud of the kids. Offensively we just played outstanding,” BHS coach Carl Frerichs said. “It started with our offensive and defensive lines. I thought we played really well up front on both sides of the ball. And Battle Mountain is not a small team, so I was really pleased with how we battled up front.”
BHS senior quarterback Trevor Reuss was an efficient 8 of 11 for 162 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions against Battle Mountain. Senior running back Jake Reardon had 89 yards on only eight carries to lead the ground game.
Basalt, ranked No. 8 in 2A this week, will look for more of the same in Friday’s 7 p.m. home game against Pagosa Springs. The Pirates (1-2) opened the season with a 34-6 loss to Durango, which is ranked No. 10 in Class 3A this week, before losing 24-14 at La Junta on Aug. 31. La Junta is currently No. 2 behind only Bayfield in 2A.
Pagosa Springs won its first game last week, beating Centauri, 31-12. Centauri is No. 5 in 1A this week.
“Honestly, they are a great team,” Frerichs said of Pagosa Springs. “They run the flex bone offensively, so that triple option. We got to be really disciplined and play smart and do our assignments and not bite on things we shouldn’t be biting on, otherwise we are going to give up some big plays.”
Basalt and Pagosa Springs last played in 2013, when they were in the same league. The Longhorns won that game, 6-2.
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