Aspen football season comes to an end with 33-20 road playoff loss to Salida |

Aspen football season comes to an end with 33-20 road playoff loss to Salida

Cody Olivas
The Mountain Mail
Aspen quarterback Tyler Ward gets pressured by Salida’s Juan Doyle and scrambles out of the pocket to complete a pass Saturday in the first round of the 2A state football playoffs in Salida.
Cody Olivas/The Mountain Mail

SALIDA — The Aspen High School football team’s season came to an end Saturday in Salida, falling to the Spartans in the first round of the Class 2A state playoffs, 33-20.

The Skiers led 8-7 at halftime. After Salida took a 7-0 lead in the second quarter on a 13-yard run by Eli Smith, the Skiers answered back.

Max Ufkes ran for 17 yards and a Salida personal foul after the play moved the Skiers to Salida’s 13-yard line. Two plays later, Trey Fabrocini scored from seven yards out. Quarterback Tyler Ward then completed a pass to Jon Haisfield to convert the 2-point conversion and give Aspen an 8-7 lead.

Unfortunately for Aspen, it would be the only time it led in the game.

On its first possession of the second half, Salida put together an 11-play, 79-yard drive that culminated with a Vince DeLeo 4-yard rushing touchdown. It was DeLeo’s first of four touchdowns in the half.

Salida went for two, but Aspen tackled Smith short of the goal line to keep the score 13-8.

On the ensuing drive, Aspen went for it on fourth-and-1 from their own 36-yard line, but Fabrocini was tackled short.

The Skiers almost caught a break on Salida’s next drive when DeLeo fumbled, but the Spartans were able to recover the loose ball.

Two plays later, Salida completed a 36-yard pass to Smith. Jonathan Woodrow caught Smith from behind to save a touchdown, but on the next play DeLeo scored on a 1-yard run. Zwingers then rushed into the end zone to convert a 2-point conversion and put Salida up, 21-8.

It looked like Salida was starting to pull away, but Aspen made a huge play to keep it a one-score game. On the Skiers’ first play from scrimmage after the touchdown, Ward completed a short pass to Noah Hollander. Hollander made one tackler miss and then sprinted 70 yards down the field and into the end zone. Salida stopped the 2-point try, but Aspen still cut the lead to 21-14.

The Spartans went back to their run game and drove down the field once again. After eight Salida rushes, DeLeo scored on a 3-yard run.

Aspen stopped the 2-point conversion.

Then the Skiers, however, answered right back.

On the ensuing kickoff, Noah Hollander fielded the kick around Aspen’s 20-yard line. Once Hollander got by the initial wall of purple, he won a foot race against two Spartans to return the kick all the way for a touchdown.

The 2-point conversion was stopped, so the Skiers trailed Salida 27-20 at that point.

With 8:40 left in the game, Salida ate nearly six minutes off the clock on its next drive. On fourth-and-1 at Aspen’s 13-yard line with 3:02 left in the game, DeLeo got the first down and kept going until he reached the end zone once again for Salida.

Aspen blocked the extra point kick. Then the Skiers put together a drive that featured a diving catch and then a 26-yard reception by Trey Thorpe. On first-and-10 from Salida’s 13, however, Ward took off running and was hit by two Spartans, knocking the ball loose and a Spartan dove on it to end the threat and help Salida finish on top.

Note: Due to an incorrect roster, Trey Fabrocini and Jonathan Woodrow were misidentified in the original story. This version has been corrected with the appropriate names.

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