Cardinals fall to Longhorns in disappointing fashion
One week after a dominating win to start the season over Vail Christian, the Grand Valley Cardinals stumbled Friday against the visiting Basalt Longhorns, dropping their first game over the year, 49-7.
“This is part of the growth process for us,” Grand Valley Head Coach Tim Lenard said. “Going through adversity and trying to address it is important, and I don’t think we did a good job of responding well. Overall, I thought that we kind of laid down in some areas. We had some players that played their hearts out tonight, and others … not so much.”
Despite the large final deficit, the Cardinals kept the game close early on, matching the Longhorns play-for-play.
Basalt got out to a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter thanks to a 1-yard run by Ian Lumsden and an 18-yard touchdown pass from Miles Levy to Kyle Roberts. The Cardinals quickly bounced back as Angel Garcia returned the ensuing kick-off 41 yards to set up Grand Valley near midfield. From there, Jeff Holbrook gained 22 yards on the ground on two carries before finding Jason Schubert from 21 yards out for the score, pulling Grand Valley to within 14-7 early in the second quarter.
Unfortunately for the Cardinals that’s where it seemed to fall apart.
On the kickoff following Grand Valley’s score, Roberts raced 90 yards for the Basalt touchdown, stretching the Longhorn lead to 21-7.
Holbrook then fumbled on the first offensive play from scrimmage, giving the Longhorns the ball in great field position. Three plays later, Alex Alberto punched in the score from 11 yards out, making it 28-7 Basalt with just over eight minutes left in the game.
“That obviously didn’t help us at all,” Lenard said. “But there were things on defense we weren’t being disciplined with, and I think that was the biggest thing with us tonight. Then we started to go back and play as individuals instead of playing as a team.”
Disaster struck again for the Cardinals on the following kickoff as the ball bounced away from a group of Cardinal players, landing in the arms of a Basalt defender, setting the Longhorns up deep in Grand Valley territory once again.
Seven plays later Roberts capped off the drive with a 12-yard touchdown run on a reverse, all but putting the game out of reach with the Longhorns up 35-7 midway through the second quarter.
Looking to get something going before the half, Grand Valley took over on their own 35-yard line before going three-and-out, punting the ball back to Basalt.
Riding the shoulders of Lumsden and Alberto on the ground, Basalt moved just across midfield before Levy found Roberts for a 26-yard catch-and-run, setting up a 1-yard touchdown from Alberto making it 42-7 at the half.
As a young team, the Cardinals could have packed it in at the half and went through the motions in the second half, but that wasn’t the case as Grand Valley came out strong in the second half and fought for 30 minutes, mounting multiple long drives before turning the ball over deep in Basalt territory twice, ending any chance of putting points on the board.
Following a Grand Valley turnover-on-downs at the Basalt 16-yard line, the Longhorns took over possession and marched 84 yards for the score as Levy found Griffen Jenkins for the 19-yard touchdown, capping off the 49-7 win.
With the loss, Grand Valley falls to 1-1, while Basalt improves to 1-1. The Cardinals will look to shake off the tough loss and prepare for a visit from the Roaring Fork Rams.
“We just have to go back to work now,” Lenard said. “We have to really work hard this week. There’s going to be a lot of physical work this week to try and get these kids focused and rebuild that team concept.
“This week gives us a chance to now correct some mistakes and get better.”
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