Basalt prevails in season finale |

Basalt prevails in season finale

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

GUNNISON, Colo. ” The Basalt defense stood tall.

In the waning minutes of the second quarter in a scoreless game Friday night in Gunnison, the Cowboys pulled off a timely middle screen to push the ball deep into Longhorns territory. They were kept out of the end zone three straight times, however, and had to settle for the field goal and the three-point halftime lead.

Momentum was Basalt’s. The Longhorns pulled ahead on a short touchdown run from Cody Kosinski to open the fourth quarter, and Basalt held on for the 7-3 win that ended a forgettable season for the Cowboys.

After winning the 2A Western Slope last season, Gunnison went from first to worst this year, finishing 0-10. The Longhorns, meanwhile, doubled their win total from a season ago, finishing sixth in the conference at 4-5 overall.

“This was a great way to end the season,” Basalt first-year head coach Carl Frerichs said. “Defensively, every kid who stepped on the field tonight played really really hard.”

The Longhorns missed a chance to seize the lead early when they turned the ball over on downs inside the red zone on their first drive. They routinely moved the ball into Gunnison territory, but couldn’t break through, Frerichs said.

While its offense sputtered, Basalt’s defense kept the team in the game. The Longhorns forced five Cowboys punts, and made one crucial goal-line stand inside its own 5.

“They scored there right before the half, but I kind of think the momentum was with us,” Frerichs said. “We have a lot of seniors … we told them this was it, how did they want it to end?”

He got his answer early in the fourth quarter when his offense put together a 65-yard scoring drive. During the Longhorns’ march, quarterback Dillon buck connected with receiver Taylor Mills for 35 yards. Buck later converted a third down on a keeper, setting Basalt up at the Gunnison 4. Kosinski dove into the end zone on the ensuing play.

The Longhorns defense forced a three-and-out on the ensuing possesion, and their offense ran out the clock to preserve the win.

“I’m pleased with the kids and how things ended up,” Frerichs said.

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