Hungry ‘Horns rout Bruins, log first win
BASALT Basalt football coach Forrest Grosh’s postgame speech to his Longhorns was concise:Remember this feeling.After a first month replete with frustration and regrettable outcomes, Basalt finally delivered a memorable performance Friday against visiting Cedaredge. Tailbacks Willy Klein and Matt Schoeller combined for 256 yards, the Longhorns scored on their first two possessions and put up 28 first-half points – nine more than they scored in their first four games – and rolled to the 45-16 victory. The win is Basalt’s (1-4 overall, 1-2 3A Western Slope) first since Oct. 6, a span of seven games. “I told the team before the game we could be sitting here 2-2, but unfortunately we’re not,” Grosh said. “I told them we had to go out and get that first win. Luckily, they responded.”
That response came early and often. After forcing the Bruins to punt on the game’s opening possession, the Longhorns strung together a seven-play, 55-yard drive to jump out to a 7-0 lead. Klein’s burst up the middle for 23 yards on a third-and-3 kept the chains moving. Klein then found the end zone from one yard out for the first of his four scores.Basalt’s bruising running game continued to chew up yardage. Fullback Cody Kosinski rumbled 18 yards to put the Longhorns up 14 with 2 minutes, 31 seconds remaining in the first. Basalt compiled 103 yards on its first two drives – all on the ground.”We understand that our passing game is still young, and our strength is in the running game,” Grosh said. “Willy and Matt ran the ball well. That’s the stuff we’ve usually seen in practice.”Quarterback Corey Ostrander’s first completion came with less than 10 minutes remaining in the second. He faked a handoff then found Luke Diekman streaking down the middle for 16 yards. On the ensuing play, Schoeller took a sweep 15 yards down the left side for the score, giving the Longhorns a 21-8 edge. Schoeller, who racked up 87 yards on his first four carries, rumbled for 11 then 34 yards during a Longhorns drive that started with seven minutes remaining in the first half. Klein put Basalt up 28-8, dragging multiple defenders for 5 yards into the end zone.
“The O-line was doing a good job, and we found those big holes,” said Schoeller, who rushed for 157 yards. “We needed this one for sure.”Basalt’s momentum continued in the second half. The Longhorns botched a long snap on a punt deep in their zone and surrendered a safety, cutting the lead to 28-10. Schoeller answered back on the ensuing possession when he picked off Payden Cerise’s pass and returned the ball 16 yards to the Cedaredge 47. Schoeller then took the handoff to the right for 34 yards, setting up another Klein score. And while the offense kept rolling, adding another touchdown and Craig Riggins’ 26-yard field goal, the Longhorns defense continually stifled the Bruins. “We shut down the run, and they tried to pass on us. … Our defensive backs stepped up,” Grosh said.If the Longhorns could’ve stopped Cerise, they might have logged a shutout. The Bruins quarterback broke down the left sideline for a 93-yard kickoff return in the first half, then went high against a group of defenders to haul in a 28-yard touchdown catch with 11 minutes remaining.
Cedaredge recovered a fumble – Basalt’s lone turnover – on the next possession. They could do little to close the deficit, however.”The guys fought hard,” Grosh said. “We needed to get this first one under our belts.”The Longhorns will look for win No. 2 at 7 p.m. Friday at Coal Ridge. The Longhorns blanked the Titans, 47-0, last season. Jon Maletz’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Sheldon Wolitski’s paradise of puck went from its rudimentary half-rink oval at Crown Mountain to, very recently, a glorious, official-size rink next to the Rio Grande Trail east of Carbondale. The rink opened in November.