Rams topple Aspen in homecoming win
An Aspen fumble and Rams’ recovery at the Skiers’ 28 on the opening series set the tone early in a homecoming blowout win for Roaring Fork in Carbondale Friday night.Quarterback Kade Gianinetti immediately connected with Cody Jeffryes at the eight.Senior tailback Jake Bowman, who rushed for over 100 yards and two touchdowns in only two quarters of play, took it into the end zone on the next play, sending the Rams on their way to a 47-7 victory. Well in command with a 41-0 lead at the half, the Rams’ varsity squad took off the pads and handed things over to the JV team in the second half.
Gianinetti scored on three quarterback keepers in the first half, the first from inside the five with 5:51 to play in the opening quarter.Three minutes later, a fake punt by Aspen on fourth and 17 failed, giving the ball back to the Rams on the Skiers 14. On the opening play of the series, Gianinetti found an opening up the middle and scampered in for his second TD.”The coaches have always given me a green light,” Gianinetti said. “[Aspen] blitzed their outside linebackers, and I saw [the hole] and took it.”Gianinetti snuck in for his third touchdown on first and goal from inside the one with 5:44 in the half. Junior Clayton Clingan, who took over as the Rams’ place kicker last week, added the point after kick to make it 35-0.
Aspen’s fifth fumble of the half with 4:03 to play gave the Rams the ball again at the Skier 38. Senior Christian Tena then scored off a short pass from Gianinetti to give the Rams a 41-0 lead going into the locker room.”JV doesn’t have too many games, so it’s good that they’re getting this kind of varsity playing time,” Gianinetti said. “It’s good for them, and it’s good for the team because we know we might need them later.”First-year Roaring Fork coach Matt Hauptly said he’s pleased with the team’s focus, even with the huge margins of victory through five games. The Rams are now 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the Class 2A Western Slope League.”We got off to some pretty good momentum and forced some Aspen mistakes,” Hauptly said. “The kids came out and focused like it was a playoff game, and that’s what we need.”
Aspen finally got on the scoreboard with 9:40 to play in the third, when Jackson Davis scooped up a Rams fumble at midfield and took it untouched into the end zone.Roaring Fork’s final score came after Kyle Raaflaub intercepted a Whit Fuller pass at the Skier 38 as time ticked away in the third. Rams junior Jeremy Fietze took it in from the 22 for the final score. Roaring Fork has two tough road games coming up, the first against defending league champ Gunnison on the road next Friday, followed by a game at defending 3A state champion Rifle on Oct. 14.”Gunnison is the returning league champ until someone says they’re not, and Rifle is the defending 3A state champ until someone says they’re not,” Hauptly said. “They’re both well-coached teams and tough to beat.”Aspen (1-3, 0-2) plays at Cedaredge next Friday.
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The third weekend of play begins Thursday and runs through Sunday with the Bantam B, Squirt A and Squirt B divisions. Because of safety protocols, spectators aren’t allowed.