Preps: Aspen football shutdown by No. 1 Rifle, Basalt loses for first time

The Aspen High School football team failed to keep up with No. 1 Rifle on Friday, losing 48-0 on the AHS turf in a game it likely needed to win to remain confidently in the playoff picture.

The undefeated Bears were dominant from the start, marching right down the field on their first possession behind their relentless rushing attack to take a 7-0 lead on a short Kenny Tlaxcala run. Rifle continued to pile it on before halftime, scoring three more touchdowns in the second quarter, including a pair of TD runs by star tailback Levi Warfel and one from quarterback Holden Stutsman.

Trailing 28-0 at halftime, Aspen had some success moving the ball in the second half but floundered anytime it got deep into Rifle territory. The score held into the fourth quarter before another Warfel touchdown run made it 35-0 with less than nine minutes to play. A fourth Warfel score made it 42-0 and got the running clock going with about 4:30 to play and the Bears finished the night with an interception return for a touchdown soon after.

Rifle, the top-ranked team in Class 2A, improved to 7-0 overall and 3-0 in Western Slope League play. Aspen fell to 3-4 overall and 1-2 in WSL play. The Skiers will hit the road one final time next week with a trip to Coal Ridge before closing out the regular season Nov. 1 at home against Basalt.

Basalt unbeaten no more after 35-6 loss at Delta

The Basalt High School football team, ranked No. 7 in 2A this week, fell from the ranks of the unbeaten Friday, losing 35-6 at No. 5 Delta. The Panthers were coming off their first loss of the season, a 47-29 defeat to No. 1 Rifle when they were No. 2 in the classification.

It took about 80 seconds for Delta to put that loss in the past. Gauge Lockhart scored on the first carry of the game from 40 yards out, which BHS answered by fumbling the ball on its first carry.

A play later, Brandon Butler ran it in from a yard out to make it 14-0 only 1:20 into the game. Delta added to its lead in the second quarter on a 1-yard QB sneak by Nolan Bynum and capped off the quarter with a Bynum to Nathan Workman touchdown pass and catch for a 28-0 halftime lead. That score held into the fourth quarter before the Panthers got one final score, a short Bynum run with 8:53 to play.

Basalt’s lone score came with about five minutes remaining when quarterback Matty Gillis connected with receiver Jackson Rapaport from 9 yards out.

Delta improved to 6-1 overall and 2-1 in WSL play, while Basalt fell to 6-1 and 2-1. The Longhorns return home next week to face top-ranked Rifle, while Delta will host Moffat County. The Bulldogs improved to 5-2 and 1-2 after a 27-20 win over Coal Ridge (1-6, 0-3) on Friday.


The Aspen High School boys tennis team had its individual state championship hopes dashed Friday when its two state semifinalists lost in Pueblo.

At No. 2 singles, junior Alex Mosher fell 7-6, 6-3 to Mullen’s George Henry Hanzel, who will face Cheyenne Mountain’s Paul Jones in Saturday’s final. Mosher did bounce back and made the playback finals after a 6-4, 7-6 win over Longmont’s Danny O’Brien.

At No. 3 singles, AHS junior Liam Sunkel lost 6-4, 1-6, 6-7 in his semifinal to Niwot’s Ben Bicknell on Friday. Bicknell is set to face Cheyenne Mountain’s Oliver Muhl in Saturday’s final, while Sunkel rebounded with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Golden’s Devin Prehn to make the playback final.

Aspen’s No. 1 singles player, junior Christian Kelly, lost in the first round on Thursday.

Aspen’s No. 1 doubles team of Lukee Tralins and George Ghali made the playback semis before losing Friday. The No. 4 doubles team of Dyer Hunting and Quinn Mckie also made the playback semifinals before falling.

After two days, Cheyenne Mountain continued to dominate the team score in 3A, while Mullen was second. Aspen was sixth.


The Basalt High School boys soccer team played under the lights in Carbondale on Friday, losing 3-2 to No. 3 Roaring Fork. The game was tied 1-1 at halftime.

The Rams improved to 9-1-1 overall and 4-0 in league play. The Longhorns fell to 6-5-1 overall and 3-2 in WSL play.