Football: Zimmerman runs wild, Grand Valley tops Basalt |

Football: Zimmerman runs wild, Grand Valley tops Basalt

Jon Mitchell
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

PARACHUTE, Colo. – Tanner Zimmerman made sure that Grand Valley High School’s football team didn’t succumb to another late-game comeback.

The senior running back finished with 272 yards rushing on 32 carries – 194 in the second half – to help sixth-ranked Grand Valley rally from a small third-quarter deficit for a 41-20 2A Western Slope victory.

“We want to take pride in being able to play for four quarters,” Zimmerman said. “The difference between here and Bayfield (a 23-18 loss two weeks ago) was that we ended up getting a win here. I just can’t say it enough. Finish games and win.”

Zimmerman had second-half touchdown runs of 6, 16, 54 and 6 yards for the Cardinals (6-1 overall, 4-1 conference), who held a 12-0 halftime lead but trailed 13-12 halfway through the third quarter.

That’s when Zimmerman came up big for Grand Valley, helping spark a game-changing drive that shifted the momentum for good.

“We came out pretty flat in the first part of the second quarter, and it showed,” Zimmerman said. “We’ve got to fix that when we play against state-playoff-caliber teams.”

The Cardinals took the early lead in the first quarter, going up 6-0 on a 10-yard jaunt from Bryan Hegwood. A late-hit penalty was enforced on the ensuing kickoff, and Grand Valley recovered an onside kick.

Four plays later, Cardinals quarterback Tyler Scott hit Trent Reidle for a 28-yard TD pass that put the Cardinals in control the rest of the first half.

The Longhorns got a big second-half performance from quarterback Matt Williams, who hit the first five passes he threw in the fourth quarter to keep Basalt in it. Cody Banc finished with a team-high 71 rushing yards on 16 carries for the Longhorns (4-3, 3-2).

Basalt, however, was plagued by penalties, with three of their seven fouls going for 15 yards, and each coming at critical times.

Basalt rallied quickly from a two-TD deficit to take the lead early in the third quarter. Bertilio Garcia’s 12-yard TD run from the wildcat formation pulled Basalt to within 12-7 after Garcia’s point-after kick. Basalt recovered a fumble by Scott two plays later, and Garcia followed with another 12-yard TD run at the 7:13 mark to put the Longhorns up 13-12.

That’s when Zimmerman took over. He carried the ball on five of Grand Valley’s six plays during the Cardinals’ ensuing touchdown drive, capping the 80-yard march with a 6-yard TD run.

And less then five minutes later, Zimmerman capped the Cardinals’ next drive with a 16-yard scoring run with 11:52 remaining, putting Grand Valley back up by two scores.

Basalt started to put together another comeback, driving from its 10-yard line, but the drive was stopped by a lost fumble on the Grand Valley 13.

Scott, however, was intercepted on his next pass attempt, setting up a 15-yard scoring pass from Williams to Jonny Medrano with 3:31 left.

Zimmerman, however, bolted for a 54-yard TD run on the Cardinals’ next play from scrimmage to put Grand Valley back up by two touchdowns.

An interception from Scott, who also plays safety, with 2 minutes, 59 seconds remaining, sealed the game.

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