Football: Basalt edges Aspen in rivalry thriller
The Aspen Times
Add a new chapter to the rivalry — and it’s a thriller to the end.
Basalt High School quarterback Miles Levy scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak with 3 minutes to play, and the Longhorns turned back a final, frantic drive by the Skiers to edge Aspen 20-14 in a classic rivalry game that came down to the final play Friday night.
Levy, who opened the game with a 42-yard touchdown pass to Raul Torres, broke a hard-fought 14-14 tie when he bulled into the end zone at Aspen School District Stadium as the Longhorns completed a 13-play scoring drive that covered 79 yards.
More significantly, the drive likely salvaged the playoff dreams of the Longhorns, who finished 4-1 in the Western Slope League North.
But the Longhorns nearly saw their playoff hopes disappear under the pressure of the Skiers, who had tied the game at 14-all with an eight-play, 55-yard scoring drive to open the third quarter.
The Skiers, facing a fourth-and-5 at midfield, ran a fake punt with Jake Ferlisi carrying for the key first down.
With gains from Rennie Tucker-Meuse, Ferlisi and Nik Morgan, the Skiers tied the game when quarterback RJ Peshek ran 30 yards on a keeper.
The conversion kick by Aspen’s Nick Slossberg tied the game.
Basalt’s eventual game-winning drive was launched by a 29-yard run on a reverse by Kyle Roberts, who had more than his fair share of huge plays in the Friday night thriller.
The Longhorns, who overcame a holding penalty, also had a pair of completions from Levy to Torres.
Facing fourth-and-4, the Longhorns drew the Skiers offsides with a hard count from Levy.
Another Aspen penalty pushed the ball to the 1-yard line, where Levy ran the TD sneak.
But the Skiers blocked the all-important extra point.
And Aspen surged up the field on a 15-yard run by Tucker-Meuse, extended by a 15-yard facemask penalty against Basalt.
But with 2 minutes to play, Roberts had his second interception of the game for the Longhorns, ending an Aspen drive that had reached the Basalt 38-yard line.
Roberts, he of the big play, intercepted an Aspen pass late in the first quarter and returned it 20 yards for a Basalt touchdown and the Longhorns’ early 14-0 lead.
Aspen, led by interim head coach Chris Peshek, answered with a 14-play, 69-yard scoring drive. Ferlisi did the honors with a 5-yard TD run.
Ferlisi also rushed for a first down on fourth-and-3 for the Skiers, extending the drive and cutting the Basalt lead to 14-7.
The Aspen defense helped keep the game close with a pair of goal-line stands against the Longhorns right before halftime.
Alex Alberto of Basalt led all rushers with 79 yards on 17 carries. Teammate Ian Lumsden rushed for 55 yards.
Levy finished 5 of 14 for 60 yards and one touchdown.
Ferlisi led the Skiers with a workmanlike 48 yards on 12 carries.
The Longhorns improved to 5-4 on the season.
Ranked No. 16 in power points entering the Friday night game, the Longhorns likely will earn a spot in the 2A football playoffs to be announced Sunday or early next week.
The Skiers moved to 2-7 overall, 0-5 in conference.
The AHS seniors also were honored Friday at the final home game of the season.
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