Football: Cedaredge too physical for Aspen

Aspen High School's Ben Appleby gets drilled by two Cedaredge defenders after making a catch during Friday's game in Aspen. The Skiers lost, 42-8.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times |

The Aspen High School football team watched tape of Cedaredge and knew it was going to be a tall task to match the Bruins’ physicality. However, knowing something and doing something about it are two different things.

“They lived up to the part we saw on film, that’s for sure,” Aspen coach Karson Pike said. “Maybe even a little more than we anticipated. Obviously they got better from Week 1 to Week 2 and added a few things. We just didn’t come out matching the physicality right away.”

Class 1A power Cedaredge, which for years has had a reputation for being a physical, downhill running team, was just that in a 42-8 win in Aspen on Friday night. The Bruins led 35-0 at halftime, and the final quarter-plus was played with a running clock.

Cedaredge (2-0) forced an Aspen punt on the first possession, and only a few plays into its first offensive drive, Bruin quarterback Pedro Madaleno found Christian Reynolds for a 56-yard score and a 7-0 lead. A possession later, Madaleno connected with Brandon O’Hern for a 61-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead.

Offensively, Aspen put together some drives in the first half, but had each fizzle out into nothing. Cedaredge extended its lead to 21-0 midway through the second quarter on a 17-yard touchdown run by O’Hern, and a 55-yard interception return by Isaac Swoffer made it 28-0 barely 90 seconds later.

O’Hern scored again, this time on a 4-yard run late in the half to make it 35-0 at the break.

“We definitely challenged them at halftime about coming out and playing assignment sound,” Pike said. “We were moving the ball in the first half, but you come out in the second half with a little fire in the belly and pride playing for Aspen High and they fought. So, I think that’s something to build on, for sure.”

Cedaredge’s final score came on a 3-yard run by Reynolds with 4 1/2 minutes to play in the third, the 42-0 advantage leading to the running clock.

The Skiers did avoid the shutout with a solid final drive, the main play being a 34-yard touchdown pass from quarterback R.J. Peshek to receiver Ben Appleby. Peshek ran in the two-point conversion, which proved to be the final play of the game.

Aspen (1-2) is off next week. The Skiers will return to the field Sept. 23 to host Grand Valley (1-1), which lost 49-7 to Basalt on Friday.

“We’ll get back a week from Saturday and try to refocus the group,” Pike said, “and make sure we are ready physically and mentally and get on to homecoming and Grand Valley.”