Football: Crucial test awaits Aspen against Cedaredge |

Football: Crucial test awaits Aspen against Cedaredge

It’s too early in the season to say everything rides on the outcome of Friday’s 7 p.m. home battle against Cedaredge, but there is undoubtedly a lot on the line for the Aspen High School football program heading into its third game.

“This would probably be a marquee win for Aspen in the last few years. I think it would create excitement all around the community,” Aspen coach Karson Pike said. “That’s something of a challenge to us coaches to get across to the kids to keep it rolling once you catch fire. Especially with our circumstance where now we’ll go into a week off.”

Aspen (1-1) will enter its bye week, which coincides with the high school’s experiential education week, either a game above or a game below .500. After a tough 22-14 Zero Week loss at Middle Park, the Skiers snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 16-12 win at home against Arvada on Friday.

Now, Aspen faces Class 1A Cedaredge (1-0), which beat Monte Vista, 23-10, in its opening game. While a lower classification than the 2A Skiers, Cedaredge is a program built on recent success under coach Brandon Milholland, having won a state championship as recently as 2012.

“They are a downhill, power-run team, traditionally, with a few spread principles sprinkled in. So I feel like we got kind of the handle on the spread stuff,” Pike said. “I think that’s what Cedaredge is pretty well-known for is being physical in their run game. That’s the biggest piece we’ve tried to harp on is we have to match their physicality and match their pad level and wear them down.”

According to MaxPreps, Cedaredge junior quarterback Pedro Madaleno led the Bruins in rushing against Monte Vista with 94 yards on 17 carries. He was 3 for 8 passing for 54 yards with an interception.

Senior running back Isaac Swoffer had 83 yards on 15 carries for Cedaredge, matching Madeleno’s 5.5 yards per carry.

Defensively, Aspen has been solid through two games but will face its toughest test against Cedaredge. To keep up, Pike believes his offense will need to be more efficient Friday than it was against Arvada, where silly mistakes stifled what was otherwise a productive offensive night.

“We are all under the understanding that this game will be probably the toughest of the first three,” Pike said. “Things we can control, we need to do a better job of handling, is kind of the message this week. When we’ve got them on their heels, we’ve got to finish it and put it away when we can.”

This will be the third straight season Aspen and Cedaredge have played. In 2014, Cedaredge won, 14-12, in Aspen, and last season the Bruins won, 35-0, at home.

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