Basalt’s Trevor Reuss looks to finish what he started vs D’Evelyn in playoffs
Who: No. 3 Basalt (8-1) vs. No. 14 D’Evelyn (7-2)
When: Saturday at 1 p.m. in Basalt
How: Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students/seniors. Athletic passes cannot be accepted.
Eat: Prior to the game, BHS will host a tailgating party beginning at 11 a.m. in front of the high school. A burger and chips are available for $5. Other concessions will be available during the game.
Listen: Jim Williams will call the play-by-play through KNFO 106.1 FM and through www.basalthighstreaming.com.
Not many high school football players have experienced an emotional roller coaster like the one Trevor Reuss rode two years ago in the final game of his sophomore season.
Then the backup quarterback for Basalt High School, Reuss had to replace his injured stepbrother in the most important game of the year and nearly brought the Longhorns back from the void.
“It’s so hard to see your brother go down, especially as a senior in what was his last game,” Trevor Reuss said earlier this week. “So, there is definitely a lot of emotion there, too, seeing him go to the sideline and the locker room. But playing with emotion can sometimes help.”
That game was against visiting D’Evelyn in the first round of the 2016 Class 2A state playoffs, a game the Jaguars won, 27-20, a nine seed upsetting the eight seed. Saturday at 1 p.m., again in Basalt, the No. 3-seeded Longhorns (8-1) will host No. 14 D’Evelyn (7-2) in a rematch, with Reuss, now a senior and starting QB, looking to finish the job two years later.
“I don’t think anyone expected him to go into that game the way he did and play the way he did, because it’s tough to go in as a sophomore, especially at quarterback and especially in a playoff game,” said Jake Reuss, Trevor’s twin brother, who starts on the Longhorn line. “I was nervous for him, I was nervous for me. I had most of those lead blocks for him on some of our plays, so I was really trying to make sure I was on our game.”
Both of the Reuss boys started that game against D’Evelyn two years ago, Jake on the line and Trevor at linebacker, a position he still holds down as a senior. At no point did Trevor think he’d have to sub in for senior all-state quarterback Miles Levy, his stepbrother, with the season hanging in the balance.
But, midway through the second quarter, Levy was knocked out of the game with a concussion and it was up to Trevor. Trailing 13-3 late in the half, Trevor connected with junior Griffen Jenkins on a 25-yard touchdown pass to cut D’Evelyn’s lead to 13-10 at halftime.
“As sweet as it was for Trevor to go into that game, it hurt a little that for Miles that was his last game he ever played,” Jake Reuss said. “When he went down, that was tough for sure. But then Trevor came in and he almost won us the game. That was super exciting for me and my family.”
D’Evelyn led 27-10 with only 6:47 to play in that game following a 56-yard touchdown pass and catch by the Jaguars. But, on the first play of the next possession, Reuss connected with junior Raul Torres on a 79-yard score to cut into the deficit.
A quick three-and-out led to a BHS field goal, and suddenly it was only a seven-point game with 2:02 remaining. A failed onside-kick attempt kept the Longhorns from completing the comeback.
Trevor finished the game 9 of 18 passing for 174 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
“It was a really cool opportunity to step up and take what I had learned from Miles into that game. That was the first time I really got to play and it was a special moment,” Trevor recalled. “I took a bunch of things from that game, improved on them, and then really being in the pressure situation from that game. Once you get it down, you can usually go back to it and I feel like that game gave me that experience.”
Trevor took over full time last season as a junior, leading Basalt to a 9-2 record, second consecutive 2A Western Slope League championship and a 28-22 win over Salida in the first round of the state playoffs, a first for BHS in the classification.
This fall, Trevor has helped guide Basalt to an 8-1 mark and the No. 3 seed in the playoffs and the chance to continue the story against the same team that got it all started two years ago in D’Evelyn.
“We knew then that he was special, and I think he’s only gotten better and better. Especially with his leadership, I think he’s done a great job,” Basalt coach Carl Frerichs said of Trevor. “I’ve been doing this a long time, and to find more committed, harder workers than the Reuss boys, I think you’d be hard pressed with any high school seeing that. They are as committed of high school football players as I think you’ll find in any classification or any school.”
Levy, who is a student at the University of Colorado in Boulder, continues to help out. Frerichs, who is finishing his 11th season in Basalt, calls him the team’s unofficial quarterback’s coach, and Levy usually watches the games online each Saturday and goes over them with Trevor. Between Levy and the Reuss boys — which includes Gage, a freshman and up-and-coming lineman — there is an obsession with watching film that few high school players can match.
It’s a big reason why the team is in the position it is this season.
“We love this program and our family is obviously very bought into it,” Trevor said. “These are the moments we dreamed of when we were little kids playing peewee football. So it’s really exciting to see our dreams come true.”
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