Cards clinch league title and playoff berth |

Cards clinch league title and playoff berth

Paul Harvey Special to the Post IndependentGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

PARACHUTE – Back-to-back Class 1A Western Slope League Champions has a nice ring to it, but the 2007 Grand Valley Cardinals are hoping to add another kind of ring. With their 14-0 win over Hayden, the Cardinals clinched a spot in the state playoffs for the second year in a row.The Grand Valley fans declared a “blackout” as they wore all black while the Cardinal defense ordered a blackout against the Tiger offense. Hayden, which is ranked No. 6 in RockyPreps, mounted several decent drives behind the running of Coy Letlow, but No. 4 Grand Valley shut them all down. With its speedy linebackers flying around, every Hayden drive ended with a punt or on downs. This shutout makes the second-straight scoreless contest at home for Grand Valley.Offensively, the Cardinals overcame an early Colton Cowan fumble to score two touchdowns in the first half. Late in the first quarter, Matt Cain connected on a jump-ball fade pass to Tyler Jensen. Jensen promptly juked diving Tiger tacklers and raced to the end zone on a 41-yard pass play.The next Cardinal possession didn’t la 70-yard touchdown. In the first half, Cowan, the leading rusher in 1A football, went over the 1,000-yard mark for the season.The second half was a battle of the punters as Hayden and Grand Valley kept stopping each other. Late in the fourth quarter, Hayden marched down all the way to the Grand Valley 10, but were stopped on fourth down.Grand Valley rushed for one more first down and then kneeled on the ball to clinch its league title.Cards’ head Coach Mike Johnson celebrated with the team on the final buzzer.”I am very proud of the kids. To go back-to-back shows a lot of character and dedication from every body on this team,” he said.Grand Valley (7-0 overall, 4-0 WSL) travels next Friday to Soroco for its final league game and finish the regular season at Rifle’s JV on Oct. 25.

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