League, playoffs on line for Basalt football against Moffat | AspenTimes.com

League, playoffs on line for Basalt football against Moffat

The Basalt High School football team practices Tuesday on its main field. The Longhorns host Moffat County Friday in a game that will likely decide the league title.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times |

The Basalt High School football players have packed on a few pounds since last season, and BHS coach Carl Frerichs believes that will make a big difference in Friday’s Class 2A Western Slope League showdown against visiting Moffat County.

“They got off the ball a thousand times better than we did last year, on both sides,” Frerichs said. “We are a year older and a year bigger. We have a lot of kids who were 160 pounds last year that are now 180 pounds playing on the offensive and defensive line.”

The teams have played each of the past two seasons, Moffat winning 49-6 in 2014 and 38-7 in 2015, the latter paving the way for an undefeated league season. Both schools are 3-0 entering Friday’s 7 p.m. affair in Basalt, the winner more likely than not on its way to the WSL crown.

For Basalt, it would be its first league title in more than 30 years.

“We’ve had some other big ones, but definitely for the first league championship since 1984, it’s a gigantic game for Basalt High School,” Frerichs said. “They run that double-wing offense, and they are coached really well with it. They got a good little play-action game out of it, and they are really a good running team out of it.”

Moffat (4-3 overall) got off to a slow start this season, losing three of its first four games. The Bulldogs have won three straight since, all league games: 36-33 over Roaring Fork, 28-3 over Coal Ridge and 18-0 over Steamboat Springs.

Basalt (5-2 overall) had a similar journey, starting 1-2 before ripping off four straight wins heading into Friday’s matchup. The Longhorns won 49-0 against Steamboat and 48-0 against Aspen before finally getting tested, however slightly, last week in a 49-24 win at Coal Ridge.

“We missed a couple of assignments and they capitalized on it. You can’t do that stuff against Moffat,” Basalt senior quarterback and defensive end Miles Levy said of last week’s defensive struggles. “We are all up to the challenge. We played some hard teams preseason, so we think we can put up a good fight. It will be a good game, but we think we should come out on top.”

It’s not necessarily the league title the teams are chasing, but the automatic berth in the Class 2A state tournament that comes along with it. Basalt is ranked No. 15 in RPI this week, while Moffat is No. 25. Without the league title, both teams will be on the fence about getting into the state tournament.

Roaring Fork (2-5 overall, 2-1 WSL) is mathematically still alive for the league title as well, its only loss coming to Moffat. In order to win the WSL, the Rams (No. 30 in RPI) would need to beat both Coal Ridge and Basalt over the final two weeks while also having Moffat lose its final two games. The Bulldogs host Aspen (1-6, 0-3) in their season finale.

Given the scenario, the Longhorns would like to keep their playoff fate in their own hands, and a win Friday over Moffat almost assures them a spot in the postseason.

“One of our mottos is be confident, not cocky, and we are going for that. We are all confident we can beat Moffat, but it’s definitely going to be a tough game,” Basalt senior Kyle Roberts said. “It’s been on my mind the whole week. I can’t take my mind off it. We are ready. We are hungry for a win.”

Friday will be senior night for the Longhorns. It also is veteran night, with all veterans and current military members getting free admission into the game. Also Friday, the Aspen High School football team will host Steamboat Springs (0-7, 0-3) for its senior night.

acolbert@aspentimes.com


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