Demons put up fight vs. ‘Dogs |

Demons put up fight vs. ‘Dogs

Jeff Caspersen
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Jury Jerome Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Ronald Kuntz and his Palisade football teammates knew better than to assume they’d have it easy against Glenwood Springs on Friday.

Even though the Demons were coming off a pair of lopsided losses – a 42-0 defeat at the hands of Montrose and a 47-0 setback against Fruita Monument – Kuntz and the Bulldogs were expecting a fight.

And a fight is what they got.

Palisade needed a late, clock-consuming drive to hold off a feisty Glenwood squad at Stubler Memorial Field. A 25-yard field goal by the Bulldogs’ Spencer Jackson with 36 seconds left iced a 31-21 win.

“We knew we had to fight for it, that Glenwood wasn’t going to just give it to us,” said Kuntz, a senior running back who accounted for 36 yards on that late drive, which spanned 4 minutes, 20 seconds and ended in Jackson’s field goal. “We had to come out and play tough.”

The Demons wasted little time making a statement in front of a rowdy home crowd.

A muffed punt set Glenwood up with prime field position early in the first quarter.

Starting at the Palisade 22-yard line, the Demons needed six plays to reach the end zone. Hill covered the final 4 yards to give Glenwood a 6-0 advantage with 8:16 left in the opening frame.

The Bulldogs countered with a flurry of points.

First, quarterback Luke McLean fired a pass to Caden Woods in the left flat that the latter took in for a 55-yard touchdown up the left sideline.

Next, McLean found a remarkably wide open Lane Orman over the middle with a 23-yard scoring pass.

Palisade added one more TD – a Kuntz 19-yard run – before the first quarter was done to take a 21-6 lead.

Just over two minutes into the second, the Bulldogs made it 28-6 with a 9-yard scoring run by quarterback Daniel Salazar, who took over behind center after McLean suffered an injury to his throwing hand.

With their defense at last stepping up to the stop the Palisade attack, the Demons clawed their way back into the game.

Henry Hill cut and juked his way to a 21-yard TD run with 2:48 left until halftime. A two-point conversion pass from Jon Forristall to Auston Tribble followed to slice the deficit to 28-14.

“Once we put some points on the board, that’s when we woke up,” Glenwood senior linebacker Rigo Garcia said. “We said, ‘We have to do what the coaches coached us to do.'”

The Demons were stingy the rest of the night, holding the Bulldogs pointless on four of their five possessions of the second half. Two ended with punts, one on a turnover on downs and one with a fumble.

Meanwhile, Glenwood found the end zone on its second possession of the half, marching 60 yards to make it 28-21. Forristall scored on a keeper up the gut with 33 seconds left in the third quarter.

But Palisade’s defense held for the duration, pushing the Bulldogs to 4-0 overall and to 1-0 in 3A Western Slope League play.

Kuntz led the Bulldogs’ multi-pronged rushing attack with 77 yards on seven carries. Salazar collected 62 yards on 20 carries and J.T. Townsend had 54 yards on 11 totes.

McLean completed 2 of 4 passes for 78 yards and two scores and Salazar connected on 2 of 5 attempts for 27 yards.

Hill racked up 111 yards and two scores on 25 carries for the Demons, who dropped to 1-3 overall and to 0-1 in league play.

Forristall completed 15 of 29 passes for 133 yards. He had one interception. Auston Tribble had four catches for 58 yards and Hill caught five balls for 43 yards.

Glenwood’s defense forced six Palisade fumbles, of which just two resulted in a change of possession.

Though their comeback bid fell short, Garcia and the Demons feel like better days await.

“I just feel like we can keep it going,” the linebacker said. “We’re just bonding even more together. We’re finding those mistakes and taking them out. We can execute better next game.”

On deck for Glenwood is a home date with Battle Mountain next week. Palisade will play to host Moffat County.

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