Basalt football finishes with loss to Hotchkiss
BASALT After his team closed out its season with a 41-24 loss to Hotchkiss at home Friday night, Basalt football coach Forrest Grosh thanked his 12 seniors for their four years in the program. Then he told those who will be returning next fall that they’ve got a lot of work to do.”We mentioned to the younger kids, in order to come out on top and become competitive, we need to put in more work in the offseason,” Grosh said. “That’s how teams become successful and win games in the fourth quarter. It can’t just be a few people working hard, it’s got to be the whole team.”Hopefully, after a frustrating 2-7 season, the Longhorns take the message to heart, Grosh said. Basalt lost two games by a single point and also fell to rival Aspen by a touchdown Sept. 14. The Skiers went on to win five more games after that to finish 7-2, earning their first playoff berth since 1974 on Friday night after routing Coal Ridge, 54-14.”You look at teams across the league, like Hotchkiss, Gunnison, Olathe and this year Aspen, those kids buy in during the offseason,” Grosh said. “I don’t want to make excuses, but there seems to be a lot from the kids. For one reason or another, they come up with reasons for not coming in to work out. Until they want to buy in and put that extra effort in, they’re going to be struggling.”Like it has numerous times in the past two seasons, Basalt started fast Friday night but couldn’t hold onto the momentum.After stopping the Bulldogs on their opening possession, the Longhorns drove down the field to score the opening touchdown, a short goal line plunge from senior fullback Willy Klein.The Longhorns added a field goal from Craig Riggins to take a 10-0 lead before Hotchkiss surged back with 28 unanswered points. One of those touchdowns was set up by a blocked punt that put the Bulldogs’ offense inside the Basalt 5-yard line. The rest were keyed by a bruising three-headed running attack led by 6-foot-2, 205-pound Bulldogs senior running back Jake Tribble.”We just couldn’t stop the dive all night,” Grosh said. “[Tribble] had a great game, just very determined running the ball. We definitely wore down, and he just kept taking it to the house.”Basalt received the ball to open the second half and pulled within 11 points with a 9-minute drive capped by a touchdown run from junior Jimmy Ayers.Hotchkiss responded with two more touchdowns, however, to put the game out of reach. Basalt’s last touchdown – a 40-yard scoring run from senior Matt Schoeller – came in the final minute.”We got within 11, had ourselves in the game and the opportunity to come back, but the offense just wasn’t able to get anything going,” Grosh said. Klein, Schoeller, Ayers, Kelly Klein, Jairo Carrasco, Travis D’Anna, Zach Schultz, Hayden Rinker, Morgan Frothingham, Kelly Klein, Luis Morales, Taylor Wolters and Andres Martinez are the 12 seniors who played in their final game Friday.Nate Peterson’s e-mail address is email@example.com.
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