Longhorns run wild against Rangely
BASALT – After Rangely turned the ball over on downs in the first quarter Friday, the Basalt offense rushed to the line of scrimmage – so quickly in fact that one referee had to hold up a hand and make the players wait while the chains were being positioned.
It was hard to blame the Longhorns for being in a hurry to snap the ball. A week after fighting for nearly every yard in a loss in Glenwood Springs, Basalt ran wild against the 1A Panthers.
The Longhorns (1-1) gave a sizable homecoming crowd plenty of reasons to stand and cheer on this brisk night. The first-team offense scored touchdowns on its five first-half possessions before giving way to the junior varsity, helping build a 42-0 halftime lead. Basalt tacked on a another score and a safety in the second half and rolled to an impressive 51-0 victory in its home opener.
Quite a homecoming indeed.
“We really worked on maintaining blocks during practice this week. It got the offense rolling,” Basalt’s Sean Chenoweth said.
“This was the most fun I’ve ever had as a running back.”
On the game’s first offensive play, Longhorns senior Erick Enriquez took a pitch from quarterback Scott Hoffman and rumbled 20 yards up the far sideline. The sight would become familiar, no matter who lined up behind Basalt’s veteran offensive line.
Zach Mobilian burst through a gaping hole in the Rangely defense and rumbled 14 yards for the game’s first score, which came after just 1 minute, 12 seconds had elapsed.
The Longhorns’ quick-strike offense was on full display on the ensuing drive. Hoffman took the opening snap, dropped back, then lofted a perfect spiral – his only pass of the night – that hit receiver Sam Morrison in stride for a 54-yard touchdown.
None of the Longhorns’ scoring drives lasted longer than five plays.
“Confidence is a huge thing for us,” Basalt head coach Carl Frerichs said. “I think we came back [from last week’s game] and proved we’re as good as we think we can be.”
After forcing a three-and-out about midway through the opening quarter, Chenoweth got his turn in the backfield. After his 23-yard touchdown run was negated by an illegal motion penalty, the senior took the hand-off on the ensuing snap, bounced outside and eluded tacklers on a 29-yard scoring scamper.
“It was funny. I saw the exact same hole both times,” Chenoweth said. “I shouldn’t give myself the credit. [The holes] were wide open. You could drive a bus through them. It was hard not to get 10 yards.”
Mobilian stretched the lead to 28 when, playing cornerback, he jumped a slant route, picked off Panthers quarterback Kody Denny’s pass and sprinted untouched about 30 yards for the score.
Enriquez bulled his way into the end zone from 3 yards out on the opening play of the second quarter. After teammate Johnson Emerson’s interception, Hoffman scored on a 2-yard keeper to give the Longhorns a 42-point cushion after just 14 minutes.
Enriquez scored on a physical 35 yard-run during the first-team offense’s lone drive in a second half in which a running clock was instituted.
In six drives, Basalt’s first team picked up 268 yards in 19 plays – an average of more than 14 yards per snap.
The Longhorns will look to make it two in a row Friday when they visit Paonia. They return home Sept. 24 (7 p.m.) to open 2A Western Slope league play against Olathe.
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