Glenwood sloshes way to win over Eagle Valley on Homecoming
Playing on a slick, muddy field Friday night, the Glenwood Springs Demons football team dominated in every facet of the game, rolling to a 41-0 win over the visiting Eagle Valley Devils at Stubler Memorial Field in front of a large Homecoming crowd, as well as members of the 1978, 1980, and 2008 Glenwood state champion football teams.
With a steady rain falling most of the afternoon Friday leading up to kickoff, Stubler Memorial Field looked like a mud pit prior to kickoff. Fortunately for Glenwood, that played right into the Demons’ offensive style of ground-and-pound football.
Despite playing in conditions best suited to slow the game down, Glenwood started fast against the Devils, forcing a quick three-and-out before scoring quickly on offense.
Junior fullback Elliot Dwyer-Walz bounced off a couple of would-be tacklers on a dive play up the middle before sliding across the goal line for the game’s opening score just under four minutes into the game, giving Glenwood a quick 7-0 lead at home. The Demons were just getting started on offense as Glenwood forced another quick three-and-out before scoring a few plays later on offense as senior Luke Gair punched his way into the end zone from 6 yards out with four minutes left in the first quarter, making it a 14-0 game in favor of Glenwood.
“You know, I think with the offense that we run it’s no secret what we want to do, and when you get into a situation like this [the weather] you’re going to do well,” said Pat Engle, Glenwood’s head coach. “I think what you saw tonight was just five weeks built up. We’ve played a tough schedule, and we’re seasoned.”
On Eagle Valley’s next possession, senior cornerback Erwin Rodriguez skied for an interception over an Eagle Valley wide receiver, returning the interception from near midfield to inside Eagle Valley’s 25 yard line, setting Glenwood’s offense up in prime field position once again.
Three plays later standout senior running back Gavin Olson raced off left tackle for an 11-yard touchdown run just three seconds into the second quarter making it a 21-0 lead in favor of Glenwood, making fans remember the days of the quick-strike offenses from the ‘78, ’80, and ’08 state championship teams.
“We’re standing on their shoulders,” Engle said. “The foundation is theirs. These kids know that. As a big history guy, I’m a big believer in knowing where you came from to know where you’re going. The sky is the limit for these kids.”
Holding a three-score lead, the Demon defense turned up the pressure, clamping down on an Eagle Valley offense that put up 57 points in the season’s opening game. Glenwood allowed Eagle Valley to pick up just one first down in the first half, allowing Glenwood’s offense to run wild.
“All season long we’ve gotten better defensively,” Engle said. “We held the number two team in the state to 14 points, and held Rifle — a very good football team — to 27 points. Last week, we allowed just 16 points in an overtime game. Our kids have gotten better and better every week; it’s a team effort. We’re so proud of our kids.”
Dwyer-Walz had a highlight-reel worthy 23-yard run early in the second quarter after bouncing a dive outside the tackle box. Dwyer-Walz stiff-armed a defender to the ground and carried another tackler 5 yards further, capping off the run in style. Disaster struck a few plays later for Glenwood though as the Demons attempted a pop pass from senior quarterback Max Lemkau to senior wide receiver Wyatt Ewer. Eagle Valley freshman safety Joe Lee stepped in front of the pass for the interception, returning the ball to Eagle’s own 25 yard line, snuffing out another scoring drive by Glenwood.
The Devils didn’t do much of anything with the newfound possession and promptly gave the Demons points right back on the ensuing punt as senior Joshua Sanchez raced up the middle for the punt block before junior Kelton McPherson jumped on the blocked punt in the end zone for the Glenwood touchdown, making it a 28-0 game with over six minutes left in the first half.
Glenwood’s offense stayed red-hot on its next possession as Olson took a toss left and raced 34 yards to the end zone with 5:03 left in the quarter, pushing Glenwood’s lead to 35-0 on the night, all but ending the game.
Trailing 35-0, Eagle Valley found some life offensively as sophomore quarterback Will Geiman found sophomore fullback David Gallegos for 17 yards down the right sideline for Eagle’s first first down of the game. Glenwood’s defense stood tall though, forcing a turnover on downs.
Glenwood forced the mercy rule clock to come on with its next possession as senior Luke Gair stiff armed a defender to the ground and cruised into the end zone down the right sideline from 33 yards out with 2:07 left in the first half, making it a 41-0 game.
At the half, the Demons honored the three state championship teams at midfield while also crowning a Homecoming King and Queen. The second half was filled with underclassmen for Glenwood, as JP Simpson and Jahirie Labare received some carries out of the backfield for the Demons, while Austin Alexander had a couple of nice pass breakups at right corner, and linebacker Teddy Huttenhower filled in admirably at linebacker in the second half, helping the Demons run out the clock on the 41-0 win, giving Glenwood its first win in 3A Western Slope League play on the season.
“It’s huge to get off to a good start in league play,” Engle said. “Right now, every single game moving forward is a playoff game for us. We’re approaching every game like that, and we’re preparing like that. I love these kids; I absolutely love them. To think that I might have four weeks left with these kids, especially the seniors, just isn’t fair. I’ll do anything for these kids, and I want to see us extend this season any way that we can.”
The win pushes Glenwood to 2-4 (1-0 3A WSL) on the season. The Demons travel to Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction Thursday night for a clash with the Palisade Bulldogs, who come into the game sitting No. 1 in the 3A RPI rankings.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. and can be heard on KMTS.