Football: Mistake-prone Basalt falls in Florence

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

The Basalt football team was down 12 but driving late in the opening quarter of Saturday’s 2A playoff opener in Florence.

Then came a costly holding penalty. Moments later, Longhorns quarterback Matt Williams was intercepted by the Huskies’ Joey Magno.

“That just killed us,” Basalt head coach Carl Frerichs conceded.

Fourth-seeded Florence (9-1) seized momentum and strung together two more touchdown drives in the first half, taking a 28-0 lead into the break. The defending state champion Huskies cruised from there, rolling past the mistake-prone 13th-seeded Longhorns,


“Hats off to Florence. They’re an incredibly disciplined, aggressive team,” Frerichs said. “Early on, we were going toe to toe with them. Once the momentum started going their way, the floodgates really started to open.”

Basalt (6-4), making its second postseason appearance in the past three seasons, forced a Huskies three-and-out to open the game but could not get its revamped zone-read offense on track.

That proved to be a problem all afternoon.

“We just couldn’t move the ball on the ground,” Frerichs said. “They were big up front and really strong and dominated the game. We became one-dimensional.

“The one thing they really had going for them is that they could platoon kids. Nobody played both ways for them. We had 10 of 11 play offense and defense, and that’s an issue.”

While the Longhorns struggled, Florence had no such problems. Behind tailback Johnnie Krien, it drove right down the field on its second possession before stalling at the 21. On fourth-and-7, however, Krien slipped out of the backfield, hauled in a pass from Zach Hoxie and sprinted untouched for the score.

The Huskies went to the air again to extend their lead to 12.

“They went with a wheel route, and we just got beat on the coverage,” Frerichs said. “We honestly were controlling their run well, but they made the adjustment.”

The Florence ground game gained some traction in the second quarter. Dennis Donley scored on a pitch 6:09 before the break, and then the Huskies pulled ahead 20-0 on a successful two-point conversion.

Later, Scott Sandavol bulled his way past the goal line for the first of his two touchdowns.

Sandavol scored on a 30-yard scamper with eight minutes remaining in the third quarter, and then the Huskies tacked on three more with a 31-yard field goal in the waning seconds of the frame.

Tailback Cody Banc scored from five yards out with 3:35 remaining in the fourth, but Basalt could pull no closer than 38-7.

“I was proud of the way we responded in the second half, kept plugging away and working hard and getting that score, but we could’ve played a lot better,” Frerichs said. “We got outplayed and outcoached, and that’s a tough combination.

“I couldn’t be prouder of this team and these 10 seniors. There are only 16 teams remaining – most are home right now and not playing. We’re disappointed and will hang our heads today, … but then we’ll move on and be proud of what we did this season.”