Basalt football faces test in No. 6 Delta
The Basalt High School football team is looking for validation. And with Class 2A powerhouse Delta coming to BHS Friday night, the Longhorns know that opportunity is at their doorstep.
“It’s a great indicator of where we are at right now. I know our kids are really excited to go against these type of teams,” Basalt coach Carl Frerichs said. “These kids really want to take that next step and compete with anyone in 2A. They want to prove to themselves this Friday that they can do it.”
Delta (1-1) is ranked No. 6 in 2A this week. The Panthers were preseason No. 4 before a zero week loss at Durango, 3-0 in overtime. Durango (3-0) is No. 8 in 3A this week.
Basalt (1-1) sits just outside the top 10 in terms of votes received. When the two teams met a year ago in Delta, the Panthers won 42-7.
“We felt like we did do some good things last year and we learned a lot from the game,” Frerichs recalled. “We really did move the ball pretty well on them last year. And they return all of their inside guys just like we do, so their offensive and defensive lines are the exact same as last year, pretty much just like us. So we feel like we know what we are going against up front.”
Frerichs believes the game will be dictated along the lines, which is good for Basalt considering that’s where Frerichs believes the Longhorns have improved the most so far this season. Basalt lost 34-14 at Rifle in zero week, but answered last week with a 44-0 rout of visiting Grand Valley.
“I feel like our kids really did some good things against Rifle. I think against Grand Valley they really stepped up even more,” Frerichs said. “In the game of football, if you control the game up front you are going to have success and I really felt like we came a long way from Week 1 to Week 2.”
Delta bounced back from its zero week loss with a 40-7 win over Moffat County, one of Basalt’s league opponents. Both Delta and BHS had byes in Week 1 (Sept. 1).
Slowing Delta begins with slowing its running game, led this year by senior running back Brendon Starr. He has rushed for 203 yards and a touchdown in two games. Senior quarterback Drake Horn is second on the team with 86 yard rushing. Horn is 9 of 28 passing for 223 yards with four touchdowns and a lone interception.
Much like Delta, Basalt saw its offensive numbers skyrocket from the first game to the second. Junior quarterback Trevor Reuss has held his own in his first season as the starter, completing 20 of 39 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. Senior running back Noah Williams leads the Longhorns with 147 yards on 31 carries and two touchdowns rushing.
Senior tight end Raul Torres leads BHS in receiving through two games with 11 catches for 165 yards and a touchdown.
“Offensively we have to keep them off balance,” Frerichs said of Friday’s game. “All three levels defensively just got to want it. They are a balanced team. They throw the ball, they run the ball — they are very much like us in terms of how they run their offense.”
BHS and Delta will kickoff at 7 p.m. Friday in Basalt. Aspen High School (3-0) is off this week.
Fully aware he was in the midst of the mountain bike race of his life, Aspen’s John Gaston said he “tried to not think too far ahead” to prevent the magnitude of the moment from getting to him. He eventually finished runner-up in the iconic race.
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