Demons come out fast, stumble late in 57-35 loss
Glenwood came out fast offensively in its new power running scheme, racing out to a 29-16 lead over the visiting Holy Family Tigers Friday night at Stubler Memorial Field, but the Demons struggled to withstand the pace of the game and the talent of the Tigers in the end, dropping a 57-35 decision in head coach Pat Engle’s first game in charge of the Demons.
“I wouldn’t say we faded, I just think we played a really good football team,” Engle said. “In some ways, I would say maybe I didn’t condition our guys enough, but with a number of them going both ways I’ll take that.”
One week after beating the defending 4A state champion in Pueblo South, Holy Family made the trip to Glenwood. On the trip, Holy Family’s team bus broke down in Frisco, causing the Tigers to arrive in Glenwood an hour before kickoff, causing the game to be delayed to 7:30.
That delay didn’t bother the Demons as Glenwood came out hard and fast in its new smashmouth offense, scoring on its first two possessions, racking up 18 plays in the process, going 80 yards on each possession.
On the first drive of the game, senior Gavin Olson bowled his way into the end zone from 9 yards out to give the Demons a 7-0 lead just 4:15 into the game. Holy Family responded with a score of its own as senior Kyle Helbig found the end zone from 6 yards out — one of his four rushing touchdowns on the night — tying the game up at 7-7 midway through the first quarter. Holy Family had to go 42 yards for the score after a 57-yard kickoff return from senior Braeden Peters.
Tied at 7-7, Glenwood again punished the Holy Family front 7 in the ground game as Olson rushed for 14 yards and a first down, and junior Elliot Dwyer-Walz ran over a Tiger defender on his way to a 23-yard gain. Senior Luke Gair got into the mix, rushing for 33 yards into a goal-to-go situation before Dwyer-Walz trucked his way into the end zone from 1 yard out to make it a 14-7 game with 3:11 left in the first quarter.
“It’s exactly as I had envisioned it. Exactly,” Engle said. “I couldn’t be more proud of our fullbacks, our linemen, our running backs, our quarterbacks, and our scout team. Our offensive coaching staff did a heck of a job getting everyone ready to play. We feel like we have an offense that you can’t stop. Reality is, I think if you go back and look at the film, we stopped ourselves rather than them stopping us.”
Holy Family’s Liam Gray made it a 14-10 game with 32 seconds left in the first quarter, drilling a 21-yard field goal after the Tigers stalled at the Demon 5-yard line, but all that hard work to pull to within four points was gone on the ensuing kickoff as Glenwood senior Wyatt Ewer fielded the kick at his own 9-yard line and raced 91 yards for the touchdown, igniting the home crowd as the Demons pulled in front 21-10 with 19 seconds left in the quarter.
The Tigers responded quickly as junior quarterback Calahan Carter found Devin Doroff for 48 yards down the left sideline, setting up Helbig’s 2-yard touchdown, making it a 21-16 game after the failed 2-point conversion.
Taking the shape of a donnibrook, the Demons marched down the field quickly again on their next drive as Olson took the first play from scrimmage 48 yards, before Dwyer-Walz scored from 1-yard out again eight plays later, giving the Demons a 29-16 lead with 7:29 left in the half.
From that point on it was all Tigers as Carter found Helbig for a 12-yard scoring strike to make it 29-23 Demons. A holding call on Glenwood’s next offensive drive stalled the Demons, setting up Carter’s 25-yard touchdown pass to junior Ben Nappe, giving the Tigers a 30-29 lead at the half.
Coming out of the locker rooms at the half, Holy Family received the ball and went on a 16-play, 80-yard drive, capped off by a 14-yard touchdown from Carter to Doroff, giving the Tigers a 36-29 lead after a failed 2-point conversion.
The Demons never quite recovered after that, as a punt, fumble, and punt on the next three drives by Glenwood allowed Holy Family to pull away for a 57-29 lead.
“I think we have to pick apart all the good stuff we did tonight, and then look and see if it was a scheme breakdown on defense tonight, or if we just ran into a really good team tonight,” Engle said. “The thing is, they made some incredible plays. That’s a really good football team; they just beat the 4A state champs last week. I was very impressed with them.”
Glenwood took a positive out of the game at the end as senior quarterback Max Lemkau found Olson on a hitch route. Olson evaded a number of tacklers on his way to a 27-yard catch-and-run for the touchdown, closing out the scoring for the night.
The Demons (0-1) will travel to Harrison next Friday for a matchup with the Panthers at 7 p.m.