Aspen wins on late field goal

Tim Mutrie
Aspen's Anthony DiMento, right, and David Goldberg pressure Cedaredge quarterback Tyler Stratman in the final minute of the game, helping to insure a 9-7 Homecoming victory Saturday, Oct 9, 2004. Aspen Times photo/Mark Fox

Aspen’s Whit Fuller kicked a 28-yard field goal with 39 seconds on the clock to lift Aspen to a 9-7 homecoming victory over Cedaredge Saturday in Aspen.Coming on the heels of an earlier Fuller miss for an extra point to tie the game, the field goal (Aspen’s first attempt of the season) was set up by an 82-yard pass from Aspen quarterback Pat Faurer to Matt Beirne (for the sophomore’s first varsity reception) who carried the ball to the Cedaredge 6 yard line with less than two minutes to play.Aspen players, coaches and fans celebrated wildly during Cedaredge’s final possession, one that Beirne halted by breaking up a desperation pass as time expired.The Aspen defense forced five turnovers, and after the game Aspen head coach Tom Goode saluted his defensive unit.”They won the game for us,” he said. “Our guys were ready. We were focused all week long.”As for the game-winning field goal, well, that was a long time coming, Goode said.

“We’ve practiced field goals for five years and this was one of the first ones we’ve converted. The kids are deservedly psyched.”Said Fuller, who was aided by snapper Will Moore and holder Faurer: “Obviously, I was nervous. So I just hoped for it and it worked.”I could pretty much tell once I kicked it that it was in.”Aspen improved to 2-4 overall on the season; Cedaredge dropped to 0-6.Aspen’s Jacob Welsh, slotted at tight end in the first half, rushed for 105 yards on 12 carries in the second half at running back. Welsh rambled for a 55-yard run early in the third quarter to put Aspen in position to answer a Cedaredge touchdown late in the first half.In a bizarre sequence with less than two minutes to play in the first half, Cedaredge fumbled on its own 11 yard line and Aspen recovered. Then Aspen’s Faurer threw an interception, then Cedaredge fumbled on the very next play and again Aspen recovered. That left Aspen with the ball on the Cedaredge 18 yard line with under a minute to play, but on the ensuing play Aspen’s Faurer was stripped of the ball in the pocket and Cedaredge’s Ryan Truitt dashed 82 yards the other way for a touchdown.Kicker Erron Fritchman booted the extra point to put Cedaredge up 7-0.

But after the Welsh run to the Cedaredge 25 yard line, and several more rushes to move the ball closer to the end zone, Faurer scored on a 3-yard QB sneak with 2:38 left in the third quarter. Fuller missed the extra point to leave Aspen trailing 7-6.Aspen had 10 first downs on the day, while Cedaredge had seven. The teams battled back and forth in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t until less than two minutes remained that Faurer hit a streaking Beirne for Aspen’s second big play of the day to set up the field goal.”I was going for the end zone,” said Beirne, “but I didn’t quite make it.”This win is huge for us,” he added, “and homecoming and all the enthusiasm makes it that much better. It couldn’t have gone any better for us.””Two big plays changed the game,” said Cedaredge coach Carl Rice, referring to the Beirne reception and the Welsh run. “They’re young like us, but they’re well coached and they played hard.”Next, Aspen takes on Basalt on Friday at 7 p.m.Hotchkiss 26, Basalt 7

This season, Basalt’s ability to gain yardage on the ground has worked well for the Longhorns.On Saturday against Hotchkiss, the host Bulldogs outran the ‘Horns while handing them a 26-7 loss.Backs Brad Queen and Keaton Bell accounted for 280 of Hotchkiss’s 380 rushing yards and two of the Bulldogs touchdowns between them.Basalt was hampered with the loss of star running back Clayton Peetz, who left the game in the first quarter with an injury.The loss, Basalt’s first in conference play, puts them at 4-2 overall.