Bragging rights go to Roaring Fork
Post Independent Staff
When the system works, you don’t mess with it.
It was the system, new Rams head coach Matt Hauptly said, that led Class 2A Roaring Fork to a surprisingly dominant 25-7 win over Class 3A Glenwood Springs Friday in the football season opener for both teams.
It’s a system that creates the big play on offense and turns away opponents when they get close to the Rams’ goal line.
“The thing we have with these kids this year is kids who buy into the system,” said Hauptly, who won his first game as the head coach after spending the last few years on the sideline as an assistant.
“We’ve been to the playoffs every year since (these kids) were in the sixth grade. They believe in what the coaches tell them because they’ve seen the success we’ve had with it.”
Roaring Fork opening the game with a long pass play wasn’t a shock, but it did catch the Demons napping.
Kade Gianinetti’s 33-yard pass to Parker Nieslanik was the first of two long gains in Roaring Fork’s seven-play, 78-yard touchdown drive on the opening series.
Jake Bowman finished the march six plays later, after the drive slowed down a little when he grabbed a screen pass at midfield and rumbled his way to a 48-yard score.
“We knew that (Glenwood) was a team that blitzed hard,” Hauptly explained of the scoring play. “We were waiting for a situation when they were going to come hard.
“That’s when we ran that middle screen to Jake. And once Jake gets out in the open field ” you can’t tackle that kid in a phone booth.”
And Bowman kept ringing the Demons bells all night.
The Rams senior ended the night as the team’s all-purpose yardage leader with 130 yards (69 rushing, 61 receiving) and two touchdowns. In between, Bowman also made the game-turning play on defense.
A Nate Forristal fumble recovery with the Rams holding a 7-0 lead in the second quarter gave Glenwood the ball on Roaring Fork’s 8-yard line. After moving the ball ahead to the Rams 4, Bowman stopped Demon back Justin Montover’s fourth-down rush on the two.
“That was huge,” Hauptly said. “Glenwood is an excellent football team and we needed a momentum shift to determine the outcome of the game. When that happened, our kids puffed up. You could see them get larger on the field.”
And the offense followed the lead. Five plays later, Roaring Fork opened a 13-0 lead when Gianinetti hit Nieslanik for a 76-yard touchdown.
Gianinetti, in his first game as Roaring Fork’s starting quarterback had a good night. The junior compiled all but five of his 212 passing yards in the first half, hitting on 8-of-13 passes.
Just before the half, Roaring Fork raised its lead to 19-0 when Trevor Hunt scored on a 28-yard touchdown after intercepting an Eric Lundin pass.
Bowman’s second TD ” a 32-yard run in the fourth quarter ” sealed the win by opening a 25-0 lead with just over 11 minutes left.
Glenwood, who had its problems in the first half, kept Roaring Fork off the scoreboard after intermission and fashioned a nice, long scoring drive for their only touchdown of the game.
First-down gains by Jeremy Christner and Montover kept the Demons 14-play, 61-yard march alive in the fourth quarter, allowing Lundin to barrel in from the 1-yard line with 5:09 left.
Glenwood begins 3A Western Slope Conference play Friday at home against Delta. Roaring Fork travels to Bayfield for a 2A nonleague game.
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