Skiers cruise in home opener
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN ” The black and red left Rangely black and blue.
It took the Aspen football team just 58 seconds to turn its first possession into seven points Friday night. It took mere minutes for the Skiers to clinch a second consecutive lopsided win. They scored touchdowns on five of their first six positions, stifled the punchless Panthers offense for four quarters and cruised to the 48-6 home-opening victory.
“We came out hard and fast, and that showed me something,” Aspen head coach Mike Sirko said. “You could tell that other team was pretty green, but we executed pretty well and our offense and defense took the game over.”
While their playing time was limited in the rout, The Skiers’ first team wasted little time flexing its muscle against decidedly overmatched Class A Rangely. Running back Beau Seguin capped a 20-yard drive with a 3-yard plunge into the end zone to give Aspen a 7-0 lead just 2 1/2 minutes into the game.
The senior, who erupted for five touchdowns and more than 200 yards on the ground in last week’s 65-6 win over Lake County, was used sparingly Friday. He made every touch count. Seguin returned a punt 45 yards for a score, first breaking up the left sideline then cutting across the field to catch the entire Panthers defense off guard. He stretched the lead to 21 when, on the first play of Aspen’s fourth drive, he took the hand-off, bounced outside and outran the defense for a 36-yard touchdown.
Seguin amassed 70 yards on just five carries.
“Both sides of the ball played well,” he said. “The defense stuck them good, and the O-line opened up so much green for me.”
The defense forced three 3-and-outs to open the game, picked off three Kanden Brady passes, recovered a fumble and blocked a punt in the first 16 minutes. Over that span, the Panthers compiled just 18 yards of offense and two first downs ” one came on a pass interference penalty during a fake punt attempt.
After Taylor Mayer’s interception late in the first quarter, Skiers quarterback Anderson Cole capped a four-play drive with a quick pass to Tommy Mines, who broke a tackle and scampered 11 yards. Travis VanDomelen stretched the lead to 34 with a 1-yard touchdown score on Aspen’s first possession of the second quarter.
The first team was relegated to the sidelines for the half’s final 10:34, as four different Aspen quarterbacks took snaps. Sophomore running back Joseph O’Callaghan scored from 4 yards out with 4:39 remaining.
“It was fun to give the young kids a chance,” Sirko said. “I told them not to expect that next week or the week after.”
Friday’s celebration was subdued, perhaps because the outcome was never in doubt, or because expectations here have changed after 2007’s improbable playoff run. There’s also no doubt that the road gets much tougher from here on out, starting with Friday’s clash on the turf with fellow unbeaten Hotchkiss.
The Bulldogs, who have rolled up 90 points in two lopsided wins over Roaring Fork and Cedaredge, dropped last year’s contest with the Skiers, 49-21.
“This was a nice home win for the kids, but they know they have to get better,” Sirko said.
“We don’t know what playing a full game is like yet,” Seguin added. “We’ll be ready.”
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Normalcy will be few and far between this ski season, so Aspen’s Simi Hamilton’s traditional slow start brought a sense of calm to a world that’s mostly in chaos at the moment.