Demons steamrolled by Conifer in opener |

Demons steamrolled by Conifer in opener

Michael Hicks
Evergreen Newspapers
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
082512-glenwood@coniferFB-IConifer, Colorado- Glenwood Springs Garrett Lowe #38 rushes past Conifer's Ivan Mayor #65 in the first football game of the season on Saturday, August 25, 2012 at Conifer High School in Conifer.
Gabriel Christus | Gabriel Christus

CONIFER, Colorado – Rocky Whitworth struggled to find the words that would best describe Glenwood Springs’ 2012 season opener on Saturday. That’s probably because the veteran head coach has rarely seen the kind of effort he witnessed at Lobo Field.

The Conifer Lobos physically manhandled the Demons in the trenches, scoring touchdowns on their first three possessions and collecting 385 yards of total offense in a 42-19 victory that, truthfully, wasn’t even that close.

A.J. Eleniewski, Thomas Kim and Brandon Payer scored rushing TDs of 17, 1 and 7 yards for the Lobos before Glenwood Springs knew what hit it.

“I was surprised. We haven’t played like that in years. I was very unhappy with that part. [We were] beating ourselves,” Whitworth said. “We’ve got to improve and improve really quickly. The meat of our schedule is right now.”

It didn’t help that Glenwood Springs, coming off a 5-5 season in 2011 and just two years removed from playing for a 3A state championship, committed 15 penalties for 107 yards, most of the five yards offside variety.

“Oh my goodness, that’s awful. We couldn’t beat our third-grade team doing that,” Whitworth said.

But make no mistake about it: Even though the Demons were stubbing their own foot time and time again, Conifer played just as much of a role in how this game was decided.

“We know if we do our jobs, hit really hard and we open holes and I run through them our offense is pretty explosive,” Eleniewski said.

Conifer finished with 243 yards rushing, led by Matthew McClintock’s 17 carries for 91 yards. Conifer was driving again midway through the second quarter when the Demons finally caught a break. A botched handoff was scooped up by Chris Sarabia, who returned the fumble 83 yards for Glenwood Springs’ first TD.

The score was 28-7 when Auston Tribble opened the second half with a 99-yard kickoff return, but Conifer, which was 6-4 a year ago, got back-to-back TDs from McClintock and Eleniewski to put the game away.

The Lobos’ Seth Trujillo finished with seven catches for 103 yards, including a 29-yard TD pass from halfback Hunter Shively.

Garrett Lowe scored a late 6-yard TD for Glenwood Springs. It was the lone drive the Demons were able to finish off.

Twice earlier in the game, Glenwood Springs drove into Conifer territory only to be denied. The second time, quarterback Travis Lundin was picked off on third-and-goal from the 15 by Shively.

Tribble, like his teammates undoubtedly, was hoping for a better outcome. But the vibe, which one would expect from a season opener, wasn’t there, he said.

“It’s really hard to pump up everybody when everybody is feeling down for some reason. That’s just football. One day you’re on, one day you’re off,” Tribble said. “But mainly it was a lack of composure, penalties, things like that that was holding us back, shooting us in the foot.”

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