Roaring Fork nearly shuts out Basalt in homecoming win
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
CARBONDALE ” Roaring Fork made it a sweet homecoming Friday night, as it came a mere second away from a shutout victory, instead prevailing 17-8 over Basalt.
Playing for the first time at home since its season opener, Roaring Fork (3-3 overall, 2-1 2A Western Slope) returned home after having last week’s home game postponed and moved to Gunnison instead when the officiating crew did not show up.
This time the officials made it to the game on time and the Rams went on to dispatch the Longhorns for another important victory as they work their way into contention in the 2A Western Slope.
Coming off a huge performance Sunday against Gunnison in which he ran for 215 yards and two touchdowns, Soren Phibbs ran for 115 yards and a touchdown to lead his Rams to the win. Lucas Leone added 22 yards on the ground with three carries and Dana Holley provided the only other score for the Rams when he picked off a Dillon Buck pass in the first quarter and rumbled 33 yards down the far sideline for the score.
“We came out and controlled the line of scrimmage and did the things we needed to do,” Roaring Fork head coach Greg Holley said. “We had a let down in the second half and probably didn’t play the way we are capable of with mental mistakes and a few other things.
“The defense played hard and despite giving up the touchdown at the end of the game, they didn’t allow the big play. I’m proud of their play.”
Despite being shut out until the final second, Basalt (2-4, 0-3) came out strong with the opening possession and ultimately outgained the Rams, 250 to 170.
The Longhorns put together a 15-play drive, going 52 yards and taking six minutes off the clock on the opening possession before failing to convert on fourth-and-goal from the 7-yard line. Instead of having an early 3-0 lead and the momentum, they came away empty handed.
Their defense then forced a punt, but, on the ensuing possession, Holley picked off a Buck pass over the middle and gave Roaring Fork the 7-0 lead that it would never relinquish.
“We had three opportunities inside their 10 and only came away with points once,” Basalt head coach Carl Frerichs said. “We felt like we had an opportunity to score there and went for it. They’re playing hard, we just haven’t come out with a win in a couple weeks.”
Roaring Fork took the ball at midfield on its next possession and drove down the field in nine plays, reaching the end zone on Phibbs’ eight-yard scamper off tackle. The score gave the Rams a 14-0 lead they would take into the half.
The Longhorns came out in the second half and didn’t show any quit, though. They held Roaring Fork to just one first down, generating three three-and-out’s from their defense. If it weren’t for a muffed punt return, which gave the Rams the ball on their 33-yard line, the Rams wouldn’t have scored the entire half.
Meanwhile, Basalt’s offense mounted a couple of long drives that stalled around the 30-yard line of Roaring Fork. The Rams defense was able to tighten up each time to keep Basalt scoreless. But it was the 15-play drive with under five minutes to play which ended at the 1-yard line that ultimately did the Longhorns in.
They just were unable to punch it in the entire game until after forcing the three-and-out from inside the 10, the final punt return was taken inside the 30 and a late hit penalty moved the ball to the 11. Buck scrambled to the 1-yard line and Dalton Jacobsen punched it in for the touchdown as time expired.
Buck led the Longhorns with 82 yards on the ground, including a 36-yard run on fourth down to prolong the late fourth quarter drive. Cody Kosinski added 80 yards on 23 carries.
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Perhaps, Radamus’ brief moment on top was a preview of coming attractions. He hopes so. Radamus certainly got the season off to a great start by finishing 27th in the opener.