Basalt football comes up short in double-overtime thriller
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
BASALT – Friday’s back-and-forth game between Basalt and visiting Gunnison featured everything from big plays to big drama. One gutsy coaching decision ultimately decided the outcome.
After the Longhorns scored on the first possession of the second overtime, the Cowboys drove in for a touchdown. Instead of going for the tie, they went for two and the win. The moved paid off, as Gunnison converted to escape with a 27-26 victory.
“It was a great high school football game that could’ve gone either way,” Basalt head coach Carl Frerichs said. “We made the decision to go for one. … I think about those things before the game, and feel it’s always good to put a point on the scoreboard. Last year, we beat Paonia by one because we kicked.”
It hardly seemed like Friday’s contest would go down to the wire, as Gunnison (6-4) controlled the pace early and jumped out to a 21-0 lead at halftime. Basalt (4-6) stormed back, thanks in large part to the play of senior quarterback Corey Ostrander, who threw for nearly 200 yards in his final game for the Longhorns.
Ostrander connected with receiver Sam Morrison on a nearly 50-yard touchdown strike in the third to trim the deficit. Later in the quarter, tailback Zach Mobilian shook free for 55 yards and a score.
Still, Basalt was in need of some help with little more than two minutes remaining in the game, as the Cowboys had possession and were attempting to run out the clock. The Longhorns dialed up a blitz on a dive play, and senior linebacker Chantri West forced a fumble, which Basalt recovered.
Soon after, Ostrander and Morrison hooked up once more – this time for about 35 yards – to square the game at 21 and force overtime.
“In his last game, Corey had his best game as a high school quarterback,” Frerichs said. “In the second half, we came back and dominated.”
The Cowboys scored to open overtime, then were successful on a two-point conversion. Basalt followed suit to extend the game.
Gunnison, which was eliminated from postseason contention after last week’s loss to Aspen, decided to roll the dice soon after and succeeded.
Frerichs was hardly dejected afterward.
“The kids played their hearts out,” he said. “I’m really proud of my seniors – I only have eight of them. Corey and Chantri and Chris Walker at linebacker, those three guys really stepped up and played great.”
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