Demons eye another title
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Levi Fetterhoff fondly recalls watching the 2008 Glenwood Springs High School football team’s methodical march to a 3A state title.
A freshman at the time, Fetterhoff wasn’t with the varsity team, but he did his best to soak in every moment.
“Watching them win, I wanted to be there,” the junior cornerback said. “I never thought I’d be here. It’s just amazing. It feels great.”
There are a whole lot of Demons who share Fetterhoff’s appreciation for what’s been a dream 2010 season. It’s a campaign that 12-1 Glenwood can cap with another state title if it can find a way to beat 13-0 Elizabeth in Saturday’s state championship game at Legacy Stadium in Aurora.
The Demons bring an 11-game winning streak and a trio of lopsided playoff victories into Saturday’s high-stakes engagement. Having defeated Elizabeth, 24-3, in the first round of the 2009 playoffs, they also bring something else to the table.
“We’re the last team to beat Elizabeth,” senior offensive/defensive lineman Blaze Barham noted.
That’s both encouraging and frightening.
“They’re going to be coming for us,” Barham continued. “They’re going to try to get revenge on us, no doubt.”
Elizabeth, seeded No. 1 in the 16-team 3A playoff bracket, and second-seeded Glenwood have been on a collision course since the playoffs began.
Both have plowed through their respective halves of the bracket, with Glenwood outscoring Englewood, Lewis-Palmer and Canon City by a collective count of 109-27 and Elizabeth outscoring Palmer Ridge, Frederick and Vista Ridge, 109-14.
Both teams lean on high-octane offenses and stingy defenses to get the job done.
Utilizing a variation of the double wing offense, the Cardinals like to run the ball – a lot.
Matt Biery, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound bruiser, gets the bulk of the totes and has more than 1,400 yards on the ground. Brad Goldsberry has rushed for nearly 900 yards and Zach Butler is close to 500 yards on the season.
“Elizabeth is one of those teams that hardly ever passes the ball,” Glenwood senior linebacker/tight end Chris Ayala said. “Our defense is going to have to grit our teeth. We’re going to have to defend the line of scrimmage. I feel confident that, if we can stop their run, we can stop the rest of their offense.”
Lucky for the Demons, run defense is their strong suit.
Led by Ayala (5-10, 185 pounds) and fellow linebackers Nick Ciani (6-2, 220), Chad Montover (6-3, 205) and Willy Pelland (6-4, 200), Glenwood’s defense doesn’t yield many yards on the ground.
“Our defense is really greedy,” Ayala said with a grin. “I don’t like giving up yards. Nick doesn’t like giving up any yards. Nobody likes giving up any yards.”
Elizabeth isn’t all that generous on defense in its own right. The Cardinals have allowed just 94 points all season – an average of 7.2 points a contest.
“Their defense stops the run pretty good,” Demons quarterback Luke Jacob said.
Running the ball is something Glenwood does effectively behind Jacob and senior teammate Drew Halsch, the team’s leading rushers.
Halsch, the Demons’ workhorse running back, is up to 1,496 yards and 21 touchdowns on the season. He’s averaging 6.8 per carry. Jacob’s close behind with 1,391 yards and 17 scores on an average of 7.5 yards per tote.
Glenwood also throws the ball quite a bit out of head coach Rocky Whitworth’s spread offense. Jacob has completed 89 of 172 passes (51.7 completion percentage) for 1,229 yards, seven TDs and eight interceptions.
Neither team has been slowed much in 2010, but something will have to give Saturday on the artificial turf at Legacy Stadium.
“I see it as a tough game,” Ayala said. “I see it as a four-quarter game. It’s the championship game. Both teams want to win, but I do see, I mean, there are certain things that we can use to win the game. It’s definitely not out of reach. We know we have some knockout punches.”
If those punches land, the Demons could well celebrate their second state title in three years and the fourth football title in school history.
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