Football: Aspen stumbles at No. 3 Bayfield
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Aspen High assistant football coach Reuben Burbach knew his squad would have to be disciplined against Bayfield’s efficient option attack.
While their effort against the state’s third-ranked team was stellar, the eighth-ranked Skiers made four pivotal mistakes. The result: four Wolverines touchdown runs of 50 or more yards and 27 points, Burbach said.
That was more than enough for Bayfield (4-0) to cruise to a 27-10 victory over visiting Aspen (3-1), which struggled on offense for a second consecutive week.
“They definitely handed it to us,” Burbach admitted. “When one guy makes a mistake against the option, that’s all it takes. We kept battling, but give them all the credit. They’re not the defending state runner-up for nothing.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Bayfield erupted for 14 straight points on runs of 70 and 55 yards, Burbach said.
Aspen showed some signs of life about 90 seconds before the half. Daniel Schwartz picked off a pass, and the Skiers marched right down the field and scored on a field goal from Erik Wehse.
“We were feeling good at the half.” Burbach said. “We moved the ball well at times but not well enough. We weren’t consistent at all.”
Aspen was hoping the return of quarterback Luke Rider and tailback Casey Hornburg, who both sat out last week because of injuries, would buoy an offense that couldn’t get much going against Pagosa Springs.
It didn’t happen. The Skiers’ lone touchdown came on a 60-yard fumble recovery from Henry Woodrow in the fourth quarter.
“As the O-line coach, it’s my responsibility to get them ready,” Burbach said. “We didn’t give Luke time to throw or Casey holes to run through. … We’d move the ball, then have a mental lapse. We turned the ball over at least four times. We left some points out there.”
Bayfield tacked on two more touchdowns courtesy of long runs in the fourth to put this one out of reach.
Aspen will look to rebound next week when it hits the road to take on Olathe. The Pirates dropped to 0-4 with Friday’s 13-6, overtime loss to Coal Ridge.
“This isn’t a step back. We definitely did some good things, and I’m proud of the effort,” Burbach said.
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Aspen Mountain opened for the season on Wednesday, a day earlier than originally planned. Top-to-bottom snowmaking, a solid recent storm and well-behaved guests made for a great experience despite all of the extra precautions.