Longhorns can’t keep up with Grand Valley on homecoming
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
BASALT ” Basalt should have considered holding its homecoming festivities at halftime of Friday night’s game against Grand Valley, not after the final buzzer.
A 14-14 shootout entering the half turn into a lopsided rout for the visitors in the final 24 minutes as the Cardinals, behind 290 total yards of offense from do-everything senior tailback Colton Cowan, left Basalt with a 41-14 win.
“Our kids played with intensity, and we still feel like we can play with anyone,” said first-year Basalt coach Carl Frerichs, whose team dropped to 2-3 overall and 0-2 in the 2A Slope. “I think we did run out of gas a little, but I can’t be happier with how these kids played in the first half.”
Fans who showed up late missed a wild start, with both teams trading touchdowns in the opening 15 seconds. On the opening kickoff, Grand Valley’s Eric Glaze found a seam up the middle and went 92 yards for the score.
Basalt answered on its first play from scrimmage when quarterback Dillon Buck faked a handoff and bootlegged left before hitting a streaking Taylor Mills behind the Grand Valley secondary. Mills made one tackler miss then outran the rest of the defense for a 70-yard catch and score.
Basalt then took the lead after a Grand Valley fumble at its own 26. Basalt’s Anthony Hurd pounced on the loose ball and 11 plays later ” after converting two key fourth downs ” Buck dove in for a 2-yard touchdown on fourth and goal.
Grand Valley’s running game then kicked into high gear. Cowan did the brunt of the damage on a nine-play, 75 yard scoring drive that the 6–foot-2, 204-pound bruiser finished with a 15-yard touchdown run with 11 minutes remaining in the first half.
After Basalt punted on its next possession, Grand Valley threatened to score again, but Basalt cornerback Corey Ostrander outjumped a Cardinals player for an interception on a fourth down play at Basalt’s own 22.
Following another punt, Grand Valley again turned the ball right back over, with Basalt’s Mills recovering another botched snap at the Cardinals’ 45. Basalt was forced to punt again, however, and Grand Valley drove all the way down to Basalt’s 15-yard line with nine seconds to go, but was unable to get a snap off before the clock ran out.
Grand Valley wouldn’t make any more costly mistakes the rest of the way while a costly fumble in the third quarter at the Grand Valley 16 swung momentum back to the Cardinals.
The Cardinals scored on their first three possessions of the second half, opening with a six-play, 48 yard scoring drive, then following with a three-play, 29 yard drive after Basalt was forced to punt backed up in its own end.
“We didn’t make a lot of adjustments, really,” said Cardinals coach Jeremy Taylor, the fill-in for head coach Mike Johnson who is still on the mend from emergency appendix surgery two weeks ago. “We stopped making mistakes. Even in the first half, they weren’t doing anything to stop us. We were just giving them chances, letting them stay around.”
The Longhorns looked on the verge of pulling the game back to within seven, after Buck hit Mills on a crossing route over the middle and the wideout broke free for 50 yards, but Cody Kosinski lost a handle of the ball going for a first down on a fourth down run on the Cardinals’ 16-yard line.
“Turnovers all year, we’ve done a really nice job with them. We’ve only had one the entire season until tonight. That was a big one,” Frerichs said. “We were moving the ball and that was a momentum swing. They came back and scored a touchdown and we had a hard time fighting back.”
Two plays later, Cowan broke loose off the right side on misdirection play and outran the Basalt defense for a 58-yard touchdown.
The Cardinals’ Landon Pasket scored the final touchdown on a 26-yard catch from Gallegos in the far corner of the end zone with 6:36 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Kosinski finished with 61 yards on 15 carries and Dalton Jacobsen added 25 yards for the Longhorns.
“We couldn’t do what we needed to do on defense,” Kosinski said. “On offense, we were doing pretty good. That’s just how it goes.”
Buck finished 5-for-6 for 135 passing yards and a touchdown to go with his rushing touchdown.
Basalt’s Michael Miller led the Longhorns with 16 tackles, 10 of them unassisted.
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