Colbert’s Prep Playbook: Basalt football has tough task in 2nd round
And we’re down to one.
The Basalt High School football team is all that remains of my fall season, and it’s a group that is built to keep things going a little while longer.
The Longhorns, seeded No. 3 in the Class 2A state playoffs, will host No. 6 seed Platte Valley at 1 p.m. Saturday in Basalt. This is the second year in a row that BHS has made the round of eight after beating Salida in the first round a year ago.
However, that team was then shut down by eventual state champion Bayfield in the second round, and that was all she wrote. The 2018 version of the Longhorns seems a touch better, and it might actually have a chance against the Broncos on Saturday. A win and Basalt would move into the state semifinals, which would be uncharted territory for the midvalley squad.
Going into this game, I wouldn’t put much stock into the seeds. After all, Rifle is only seeded No. 7 despite winning the 2A Western Slope League over Basalt with the same record. Obviously, the system has its flaws.
Platte Valley, located just outside of Greeley in Kersey, is a perfect 10-0 this season. According to the CHSAANow.com rankings, the Broncos only had the 28th-toughest schedule in 2A (Basalt had the seventh-toughest), which is why they were only given a six seed. Their best regular-season wins came over Berthoud (16-0) and Eaton (26-7), both teams that lost last week in the first round of the playoffs.
In Platte Valley’s first-round game, it beat Basalt’s WSL foe, Delta, 45-21. The Longhorns hosted Delta on Oct. 12, winning 13-0. Not that those comparisons ever mean anything.
The Broncos average 36.3 points per game, while allowing 11.9. Basalt averages only 26.9 points per game, but has a defense that allows only 7.4 points per game. BHS has not given up more than 14 points in any game this season, which could be key to getting the win Saturday.
Looking at individual stats, it seems Basalt’s defensive task will be to stop senior quarterback Trevon Wehrman. He’s a dual-threat machine, having thrown for 1,030 yards and 12 touchdowns (with only three interceptions), while having rushed for 754 yards and another 10 touchdowns. Senior Ernesto Rios leads the team in rushing with 864 yards.
As it does most weeks, Basalt is led by its shutdown defense and a heavy dose of senior running back Jake Reardon, who has rushed for 1,460 yards and 15 touchdowns this season. Reardon is second to only Rifle’s Tanner Vines in rushing in 2A (Vines had a ridiculous 1,987 yards and 19 touchdowns heading into their first-round playoff game, a 27-0 win over Eaton).
Should Basalt beat Platte Valley, it would play the winner of Rifle and No. 2 Resurrection Christian in the semifinals.
Speaking of stats….
Any guesses on who leads 2A in passing, according to MaxPreps? That would be Aspen sophomore Tyler Ward, who threw for 2,202 yards and 26 touchdowns (with only eight picks) in the regular season. Leading 2A in receiving is AHS junior Max Ufkes (920 yards) while AHS senior Noah Hollander (751 yards) was fourth.
As of Monday night, the stats for their first-round playoff game had not been entered, so those numbers are likely more. Aspen’s season came to an end with a 33-20 loss at Salida in the round of 16 on Saturday.
Winter is here
Just a quick note that winter sports practices start Monday, if you believe it. Basketball and hockey seasons are here, with swimming, wrestling and eventually skiing not far behind. More on those teams as we get closer to game time later this month.
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American riders invited to compete in X Games from Jan. 29-31, who have continuously tested negative while in mandatory quarantine in Austria, are expected to compete at the event later this month in Aspen.