Cardinals clean house in opener
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
PARACHUTE, Colorado ” The Grand Valley Cardinals opened their gridiron season with a sound win over the Manual Thunderbolts 61-8. The Cardinals were led by senior Colton Cowan and his five touchdowns ” all coming before halftime.
“We’re really excited to get this year started off on the right foot,” Cardinal coach Mike Johnson said before the game. “I want to open with guns blazing.”
The Cardinals did just that. On the Thunderbolt’s first offensive play, Cowan had a 22-yard interception return for a touchdown. On the Cardinals first offensive play, Cowan burst through the offensive line, being touched only once for a 47-yard touchdown run.
“It was awesome,” Cowan said. “The O-line blew off good and I had a huge hole.”
After stopping Manual on their second drive, junior quarterback Ryan Gallegos pitched the ball to the left side, and following senior William Waugh’s blocking, Eric Glaze had a 23-yard run to push the game to 20-0.
Cowan had three more touchdown runs before the half on runs ones of 23, 56, and 34 yards. He went into the locker room at the half with four carries, all touchdowns, for 160 yards.
In the second half, Johnson played his second and third string, with the freshmen getting a lot of playing time, too.
“I don’t think we really got tested, or got enough reps in for our first string,” he said after the game.
The Cardinals face off against Paonia at home next Friday.
“It’s traditionally a war with those guys. Last year we thumped on them, but they have a new coach so we’ll have to see what we’re up against,” Johnson said.
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Down 14-7 with less than 11 minutes left in regulation, Rifle head coach Todd Casebier decided it was time to deviate from his ground-and-pound offense for a bit of an aerial attack.