3A state playoffs: Demons soaring after close win over Cardinals
Glenwood Springs 14, Elizabeth 13
Glenwood 0 7 0 7 — 14
Elizabeth 7 0 6 0 — 13
E — Chasyn Nicholas 59 pass from Brody Oliver (Kei Nishimura kick), 3:28.
GS — Derrick Chase 3 run (Robert Hiles kick), 8:09.
E — Jordan Bucknham 2 run (kick failed), 3:35.
GS — Travis Lundin 1 run (Hiles kick), 3:40.
First downs 13 11
Total Yards 325 239
Rushes-yards 49-227 28-91
Passing 98 148
Comp-Att-Int 9-14-0 6-17-1
Punts 5-25.4 4-43.5
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 1-1
Penalties-Yards 6-45 7-53
RUSHING— Glenwood, Henry Hill 30-183, Derrick Chase 10-38, Travis Lundin 6-5, Dante Sparaco 1-1. Elizabeth, Oliver 9-44, Nicholas 12-20, Jordan Bucknam 7-25.
PASSING—Glenwood, Lundin 9-13-0-98, Sparaco 0-1-0-0. Elizabeth, Oliver 7-17-148-1.
RECEIVING— Glenwood, Evrett Marr 2-18, Hill 3-21, Cole Adams 2-50, Chase 1-7, Justin Barham 1-6. Elizabeth Bucknam 3-74, Nicholas 1-59, Logan Weber 1-12, Aaron Stone 1-3.
ELIZABETH — Cole Adams’ stomach still hurts. And to the Glenwood Springs High School senior wide receiver, there’s no better feeling in the world.
“I just landed on the ball funky,” he said, smiling. “That’s OK though. We’ve been preparing for this all year.”
Adams’ 30-yard diving reception late in the fourth quarter helped set up Travis Lundin’s 1-yard, go-ahead touchdown run, and the 12th-seeded Demons held on for a gutsy 14-13 victory over the fifth-seeded Elizabeth Cardinals on Saturday in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs.
“We knew it and we believed,” Lundin said. “They’re a great, great team, and we pulled it off. This is one of the best feelings of my life.”
The Demons (8-3 overall), winners of eight consecutive games, have a chance to extend that feeling a little longer now. Saturday’s victory at Cardinals Field sent Glenwood into the state quarterfinals against Delta (8-3), which earned a 42-41 victory over Holy Family (8-3) in another first-round game. A game time — and game site — has yet to be determined.
Glenwood got a huge rushing performance from senior running back Henry Hill, who finished with a game-high 183 rushing yards on 30 carries. One of them was a 73-yard run in the second quarter that helped set up the Demons’ first touchdown of the game — a 3-yard plunge from Derrick Chase that knotted the score at 7-7.
But the biggest set-up play of the game came from Adams. With Glenwood down 13-7 and facing a third-and-9 at the Cardinals’ 46, Adams laid out to catch a pass from Lundin that resulted in a Glenwood first down at the Elizabeth 10. He landed on the ball after he caught it, though, and was assisted off the field to a chorus of cheers from the hundreds of Glenwood fans who made the trip to the Front Range.
Five plays later, Lundin called his own number from the 1 and rolled into the end zone with 3:40 remaining, and the extra-point kick from Robert Hiles gave the Demons the lead for good.
“We did a silent count to catch them off guard,” Lundin said. “I knew I was going to score.”
Glenwood’s defense was up to the task against the Cardinals, who finished with 91 rushing yards on 28 carries after coming into the game averaging 226 yards on the ground per game. Despite that, however, Elizabeth held the lead for most of the contest.
The Cardinals got on the board first when Elizabeth quarterback Brody Oliver found a wide-open Chasyn Nicholas on a short post, and the senior running back streaked 59 yards untouched into the end zone to give the Cards a 7-0 lead after Kei Nishimura’s extra-point kick. Glenwood knotted the score at 7-all on Chase’s TD run but missed a chance to take the lead at halftime when Hiles’ 35-yard field goal attempt bounced off the right crossbar as the clock expired.
Elizabeth retook the lead at the end of the third quarter. After a 14-yard punt from Chase Nieslanik set the Cardinals up at the Demons’ 46, a 38-yard scramble by Oliver gave Elizabeth a first-and-goal at the 8. Jordan Buckham ran it in from 2 yards out two plays later, but Nishimura’s point-after try went low and wide left to leave the Cardinals’ lead at 13-7.
Two Glenwood possessions later, Adams made his catch and Lundin scored the go-ahead TD. Elizabeth actually lost 10 yards on its ensuing possession thanks to a sack of Oliver by Nieslanik, and Oliver ended the drive with an interception to — who else? — Adams.
The Glenwood senior kneeled on the ball after a short return, and Glewood’s offense ran out most of the remaining clock. Oliver threw an incomplete pass on the game’s final play, and the Demons’ celebration began.
“A game like this kind of validates what you do as a coach to get your kids ready to play,” Glenwood coach Rocky Whitworth said. “But more than that, it gives your players confidence that they can play at a high level. For us to have this happen today, it was just great.”
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