Cedaredge turns back AHS football comeback
The Aspen Times
The Aspen Skiers’ frantic second-half comeback came up just a few yards short.
The Aspen High School football team, after falling behind visiting Cedaredge 14-0 on Friday night, stormed back in the second half, scoring with 39 seconds to play to pull within range for a possible tie.
But Cedaredge’s Christian Reynolds spoiled the comeback party when he sacked Aspen quarterback Tyler Tick as the Skiers attempted a two-point conversion.
Cedaredge 14, Aspen 12 — in a thriller that came down to the final series.
The visiting Bruins stunned the Skiers in the first half, scoring on two long touchdown runs by Xander Camp.
He recovered an Aspen fumble on an option pitch late in the first quarter.
On the very next play, he took a pitch to the left side out of the Bruins’ pistol formation. Thirty-six untouched yards later he scored with Bryce Klaseen adding the point after for a 7-0 Cedaredge lead with 2:07 to play in the first.
Late in the second quarter, Camp broke up the middle of the Aspen defense and scored on a 62-yard run, which produced a 14-0 Cedaredge lead with 4:36 to play in the first half.
The Skiers answered with two long runs from tailback Ryan Fitzgerald and a drive inside the Bruins’ 25-yard line.
But another fumble. recovered by Cedaredge’s Tylor Beach, stopped the Skiers.
They eventually managed a 29-yard field goal by John Heaphey with less than a second to play in the half.
The Aspen offense started quickly in the second half when Fitzgerald broke free for a 26-yard run and then a 29-yard run.
Heaphey boomed another 29-yard field goal when the drive stalled at the Cedaredge 12-yard line.
That cut Cedaredge’s lead to 14-6 with 8:59 to play in the third quarter.
Another promising Aspen drive, which started at the Skiers’ own 12-yard line, pushed the ball to the Cedaredge 30-yard line, where the Bruins stopped a fourth-and-2 by the Skiers.
After trading punts, Cedaredge’s Beach kicked a 62-yard punt that rolled inside the Aspen 10-yard line.
With 4:19 on the clock, the Skiers were 91 yards away from the end zone, 91 yards away from a touchdown, and a TD and two-point conversion away from a tie.
With Tick completing back-to-back passes to Fitzgerald and Harry Ferguson for 23 and 10 yards, respectively, the Skiers drove.
Tick hit Ferguson again, and after the one-handed catch, he gained 9 yards.
Two more Fitzgerald runs for 15 yards moved Aspen deep into Cedaredge territory as the clock showed 2:00 to play.
An incomplete pass and a loss of 3 on another pass gave the Skiers a third-and-13 situation at the Cedaredge 34-yard line with 48 seconds in regulation.
The Skiers headed left on a running play, but the ball was lateraled to Matt Gregory coming back to the right.
He stopped short of the line of scrimmage and lofted a perfect pass to a wide-open Ferguson, who ran untouched into the end zone to pull Aspen within 14-12 with 39 seconds to play.
With a tie looming, Reynolds saved the tense victory for the Bruins, who improved to a perfect 3-0 on the season.
Camp, who rushed for 125 yards in the first half, finished with 145 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns for Cedaredge.
Fitzgerald, coming off a 348-yard night at Steamboat Springs last Friday, rushed for 209 yards against Cedaredge on 30 carries.
The Skiers rushed for nearly 300 yards as they fell to 2-2.
Aspen will head into a week of experiential education next week. The AHS football team will not play again until Sept. 26 at Roaring Fork in the Western Slope North League opener.
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Aspen High School senior Nic Pevny successfully defended his individual regional title Tuesday and the AHS boys golf team will head to the state tournament as the regional champion for the 12th time in 13 seasons. Basalt qualified three players to state after finishing third as a team.