Football: Pivotal week for Aspen on the road
The Aspen Times
The football schedule charges into a pivotal weekend for the Aspen Skiers.
The Basalt Longhorns, too.
The Aspen High School football team (2-1) will travel to Cedaredge for a nonconference game at 7 p.m. Friday.
The game is the last one before a week away from football for the Skiers, who will scatter for the traditional experiential education program next week.
The game also is the first after Aspen’s only loss of the season, a 7-6 defeat at the hands of visiting Steamboat Springs last weekend.
The Skiers opened the year with victories over Cortez and Grand Valley.
Aspen (Class 2A in football) will encounter a highly regarded Cedaredge team (2-0), ranked No. 7 in the statewide Class 1A football poll by CHSAA.
The Bruins opened the year with a 21-6 win over Basalt.
Last weekend, Cedaredge beat Class 2A Olathe 14-12 in a regional matchup. The Bruins play in the same Class 1A conference with two-time defending state champion Paonia.
“We’ll be without a handful of our guys,” Aspen head coach Ryan Triece said, adding that tailbacks Nik Morgan and Rennie Tucker-Meuse both will miss the Cedaredge game because of injuries. “Kyle Miller is out; he had an ankle (injury) at Grand Valley.”
He said the Skiers will have quarterback RJ Peshek to lead the offense against the stubborn Cedaredge defense.
Tight end Tristan Niskanen also is set to go against the Bruins along with Nick Hanle, who will step in at tailback.
“Nick ran hard last week for us,” Triece said after Hanle was forced into service in the backfield. He’s usually a receiver.
“It’s going to be a real tough, physical game,” the Aspen coach said. “They pride themselves on their defense.”
Triece said the Skiers will have to avoid the big play on defense and protect the ball on offense.
“We’ll go down there and give it our best effort,” he said.
After the nonleague game at Cedredge, the Aspen football team will break for ex-ed and then prepare for the Western Slope League opener at home Oct. 2. Roaring Fork (2-0) will play at Olathe (1-1) on Friday night. Then the Rams will host Gunnison on Sept. 25 before the Oct. 2 trip to Aspen.
Roaring Fork opened with a 16-14 win over Meeker, the No. 9 team in Class 1A. The Rams beat Grand Valley 41-13 last weekend.
Basalt’s Longhorns (0-2) will be in search of their first victory in the Friday night game at Eagle Valley in Gypsum.
The host Devils are 2-0 with a 21-6 win over Vista Peak Prep and a 21-7 win over Eagle County rival Battle Mountain.
Basalt played a tight game at Cedaredge before falling 21-6 in the season opener. The Longhorns lost to Center 13-3 last weekend in Basalt.
After the road trip to Eagle Valley, Basalt will return home for its homecoming game Sept. 25 against Grand Valley.
The Longhorns will open the 2A Western Slope League season Oct. 2 at Coal Ridge.
In other area games Friday night, Coal Ridge (1-1) will travel to Grand Valley (0-2).
Class 3A Glenwood Springs will host Class 2A powerhouse Brush (1-1). The Beetdiggers are ranked No. 3 in the CHSAA Class 2A football poll.
Kent Denver is ranked No. 1 in 2A with Eaton No. 2 and Brush third.
Bayfield is at No. 4. Platte Valley is ranked fifth.
Rifle (3-0), the No. 4-ranked team in Class 3A, is idle this week.
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The dual-sport student-athlete was named to the Class 3A Western Slope League all-conference first team for softball as one of two Carbondale players on the Basalt High School softball team team last fall.