Basalt football lands as No. 10 seed, will play Saturday at No. 7 Brush in first round |

Basalt football lands as No. 10 seed, will play Saturday at No. 7 Brush in first round

Basalt’s Kade Schneider steps back to pass against Aspen on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, in Basalt.
Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times

The Basalt High School football team is back in the playoffs for the sixth straight season. The Class 2A state bracket was released Sunday by CHSAA, and the Longhorns will be the No. 10 seed in the 16-team tournament and will play at No. 7 Brush in the first round.

The game is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday in Brush, which is located just past Fort Morgan, northeast of Denver.

“We’ve never played Brush, so I actually thought Brush was a lot further away than it is. So that won’t be such a distraction as I first thought,” longtime Basalt coach Carl Frerichs said, making light of what should be a four- to five-hour bus ride. “It will make it a fun trip for the kids to go down and play a school we’ve never played.”

Brush (7-2 overall) went 5-0 in the 2A Patriot East against the likes of Platte Valley, Sterling, Valley, Weld Central and Fort Lupton. The Beetdiggers lost both of their games early in the season, falling 35-12 to Fort Morgan, one of the best teams in Class 3A, on Sept. 3 and lost 20-7 to Severance, the No. 6 seed in the 2A bracket, two weeks later. They’ve won six straight games since.

Brush was a state superpower not that long ago, going undefeated en route to a state championship as recently as the 2014 season.

However, prior to this fall, the Beetdiggers hadn’t had a winning season since going 7-4 in 2015. Since then, they’ve compiled records of 2-7 (2016), 4-5 (2017), 4-5 (2018), 3-6 (2019) and then 1-3 last fall in the one-off pandemic season.

“Trying to get a feel for what they like to do and who they are is definitely a little more stressful than normal because you really have no idea who they are at all,” said Frerichs, who was already hours deep into watching film as of Sunday evening. “It’s been really hard because the two films they sent us they are only playing spread teams, so finding a team that is under center where we can kind of figure out more what they do has definitely been a challenge, but we feel like we’ve found some film.”

According to the MaxPreps stats, Brush is a run-centric team, having tallied more than 2,000 yards on the ground this season. Three different players have at least 300 yards rushing, led by senior Cesar Hinjos and his 676 yards and eight touchdowns.

Senior Alejandro Maltos-Garcia is the team’s quarterback, having thrown for 606 yards at a roughly 50% clip with 10 TDs and three interceptions. He’s also rushed for 190 yards with seven more scores this season.

“They are really senior heavy,” Frerichs said. “They look like they are a tough, physical team. Which anytime when there are 16 teams left, I think no matter who you are going up against this week, you are going to be seeing a lot of good things on film with what you are watching.”

Basalt (7-2) enters the postseason winners of two straight. BHS finished third in the 2A Western Slope League behind champion Delta and runner-up Moffat County, the other two league teams to make the postseason field. Delta is seeded No. 4 and will host No. 13 Alamosa in the first round, while Moffat County is No. 5 and will host No. 12 University. The winners of those two games will play in the second round.

Should Basalt advance past Brush, it would play either No. 2 Resurrection Christian or No. 15 La Junta. Because of a rule that tries to keep teams from playing back-to-back road games in the postseason, should the Longhorns make it into the second round they would host that game in Basalt, even if Resurrection Christian advances. Frerichs sees this as the silver lining in being the tournament’s No. 10 seed.

Basalt High School’s Cooper Crawford carries the ball against Aspen on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, in Basalt.
Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times

“That’s the best way for our kids to look at it,” Frerichs said. “Yes, we’d like to be playing at home right now in that 8-9, but I also think not playing the No. 1 seed after this week if you do get through, and if you do get to play at home the second round, I think for the long run in the playoffs this is a good thing for the program.”

Basalt had won three straight first-round playoff games before the one-off spring season earlier this year, where No. 3 seed BHS lost 27-22 at home against No. 6 seed Sand Creek.

Frerichs said nothing will change internally for the Basalt players this week between school and practice. The Longhorns plan to drive to Fort Morgan on Friday and stay the night before playing in Brush on Saturday afternoon.

“We keep it consistent every week. My kids probably say I’m too consistent,” Frerichs joked. “They can tell you time of year, what we are doing, what is going on. I just truly believe in high school football you got to get your kids prepared and you got to do enough where you make the other team think, but most importantly you have to have your kids executing.”

Eaton landed the No. 1 seed in the 2A tournament and will play No. 16 Kent Denver in the first round. Opposite them in the bracket is No. 8 Bayfield and No. 9 Elizabeth. The other quadrant includes No. 6 Severance facing No. 11 Platte Valley, and No. 14 Northfield facing No. 3 The Classical Academy.

Aspen did not make the tournament and finishes the season 3-6 overall. Defending spring state champion Rifle (3-6) and Coal Ridge (0-9) were also left out.


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