Basalt football falls in Parachute |

Basalt football falls in Parachute

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

PARACHUTE, Colo. – A week after being blasted in Aspen, the Basalt football team hung tough Friday against Grand Valley.

For one half at least. The Longhorns, victimized by two turnovers in the red zone and the Cardinals’ potent passing attack, fell to 2-3 after a 28-7 loss.

“We actually had our opportunities,” Basalt head coach Carl Frerichs said. “Offensively, we moved the ball more than we have in a long time. … [On defense], we stuffed them [at the line], but they just beat us with the deep plays.”

Grand Valley quarterback Ryan Gallegos threw a 35-yard touchdown pass – the first of his three long scoring tosses – early in the first quarter to stake the Cardinals to an early 7-0 lead.

Basalt, a 49-7 loser last week against the rival Skiers, answered right back, stringing together a drive that spanned 60 yards. Tailback Zach Mobilian squared the game with a 3-yard dive.

Gallegos connected with a receiver with 1 minute, 30 seconds remaining in the first half to stretch the lead to seven. Special teams then gave the Cardinals some breathing room, returning the second-half kickoff for a touchdown.

Gallegos tossed another touchdown midway through the third quarter for Grand Valley (4-1 overall, 1-1 2A Western Slope), which bounced back after a hard-luck loss to Gunnison one week ago. The Cowboys gambled with a two-point conversion in the final minute and pulled out a 14-13 win.

The Longhorns, who have scored just 28 points in five games, had little trouble moving the ball. Many drives stalled, however, after untimely false start penalties and multiple tackles for loss. In addition, Basalt was picked off twice inside the Cardinals’ 20-yard line – one from quarterback Corey Ostrander and one on an attempted halfback pass.

Basalt will look to rebound next week when it hosts winless Roaring Fork (0-6) at 7 p.m. Friday.

“We’re staying positive,” Frerichs said. “Last week, we didn’t have a chance, but this week we were in the game. … We know things can change.”

The Aspen football team rebounded from Sept. 18’s eight-point loss to Hotchkiss with an impressive Homecoming victory over Basalt last week. The Skiers kept that momentum going Friday.

The offense erupted for six touchdowns in Cedaredge, and Aspen cruised to a 42-18 win, running their record to 4-1. The high-powered Skiers have scored 42 or more points in four of five games this year.

Two tough tests loom in the coming weeks, when Aspen hosts league powers Grand Valley (7 p.m. Friday) and reigning 2A state champion Olathe (7 p.m. Oct. 16).

The Skiers have not lost at home since 2006.

Aspen head coach Mike Sirko could not be reached for comment.

The Longhorns’ struggles continued Friday against Grand Valley.

Basalt was outscored, 50-37, in Games 1 and 2. Despite a valiant effort in a marathon final game, the Longhorns could not prevent the three-game sweep (18-25, 19-25, 26-28).

Basalt has lost its last two matches and four of its last five. It is now 3-10 overall and 3-8 in 3A Western Slope play – good for seventh place out of nine teams.

Things will get no easier in the near future. The Longhorns host unbeaten Roaring Fork at 7 p.m. in Friday’s Homecoming match.

Basalt head coach Stephanie Palmer did not return calls seeking comment.

Scores from Aspen’s match in Cedaredge were not available by press time. Skiers head coach Clayton Dahlman did not return calls seeking comment.

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