Basalt football lives up to No. 1 ranking, cruises to 55-0 win over Salida in opener

Basalt High School

The Basalt High School football team scored less than two minutes into its season and cruised from there, beating Salida on Saturday in the unique spring opener, winning 55-0 on the BHS field.

Class 3A’s preseason No. 1 team looked the part as its veteran players made easy work of the much younger Spartans. The teams last played in the 2017 playoffs, BHS winning 28-22 in the first-round game.

“It’s a big advantage when you have a lot of kids who have been in your schemes, because it’s such a short season so you are not trying to cram everything in,” BHS coach Carl Frerichs said. “Salida is definitely younger and they battled for four quarters and gave us everything they had. I think they deserve a lot of credit coming into a game where we are juniors and seniors and they knew they were going to have their hands full. But they battled.”

It was Basalt’s first game since Nov. 23, 2019, a 17-6 home loss to Delta in the Class 2A state semifinals. The Longhorns were among the state’s minority — roughly 20% — to opt for the spring season as opposed to playing this past fall because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Not traditionally conference mates in recent years, Saturday’s game between Basalt and Salida was a league game in the reshaped spring season.

The Longhorns took a 7-0 lead just shy of two minutes into the game, a long touchdown run by junior Gavin Webb starting the onslaught. Senior quarterback Matty Gillis found senior Rulbe Alvarado for a 16-yard touchdown pass and catch and, soon after, Webb scored again on a short TD run before Gillis ran in his own TD to give BHS a 28-0 lead after the first quarter.

Basalt led 41-0 at halftime and tacked on another touchdown in each the third and fourth quarter. Junior Sam Sherry led a stout BHS defense in the shutout, while sophomore Jamie Dolan finished with a team-high seven solo tackles.

“I thought our defense did really well. We had a couple of breakdowns on responsibilities,” Frerichs said. “I really felt like for the most part the kids did great doing their job.”

Webb finished with 120 yards rushing and three scores on only five carries. Basalt rushed for a collective 237 yards on 22 carries for a 10.8 yards-per-carry average. Gillis was 6-of-7 passing for 109 yards with three TDs and no interceptions, while Alvarado had four catches for 84 yards, three of them for scores.

“I was really proud of the kids,” Frerichs said. “I’m just so excited they are getting the opportunity to play and that’s really right now what we are focusing on, is doing everything we can to make sure we get to play every week.”

Basalt, which is unlikely to move from its preseason No. 1 ranking, plays next Saturday at Steamboat Springs in another league game. The Sailors hosted Montezuma-Cortez in a league game on Saturday, losing 12-3.

Also around the 3A West this first week, No. 6 Glenwood Springs rolled over No. 5 Aspen (41-14) and No. 2 Rifle beat Coal Ridge (49-0). BHS will host Rifle in Week 3.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.