Coal Ridge suffers first loss to Cedaredge |

Coal Ridge suffers first loss to Cedaredge

Anthony Dion
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Chad Spangler Post Independent

NEW CASTLE, Colorado ” With the game tied and just under 10 minutes to play, Coal Ridge sent senior Bradey Gasaway back to receive a punt at his own 30-yard line. It was fourth-and-7 for the Cedaredge Bruins, Coal Ridge had forced a three-and-out directly after its own long scoring drive to swing the tide of momentum back toward the home team’s favor.

Or so they thought.

Instead, Cedaredge head coach Eric Hollembeak called for a hard count from his quarterback Chaunce Lindley to try and draw the Titans defense offsides, and that’s just what they did. Now faced with a fourth-and-2 from their own 35-yard line, the Bruins decided to go for it and extended the drive.

It was the turning point in the game and Cedaredge utilized the momentum swing ” and some gutsy play calling ” to drive 73-yards over 9:30 for the go-ahead score, eventually holding on to win 21-14 Friday night.

Cedaredge (2-2, 1-0) spoiled Coal Ridge’s (3-1, 0-1) homecoming celebration after trailing at halftime 14-7 and being outgained 300 to 248 in total yards, and handed the Titans their first defeat.

“Our kids showed a lot of heart tonight,” Hollembeak said. “[The hard count on fourth down] was a big momentum swing for us and we rode with it. They’ve taken their lumps early on so far this season, but hopefully we can ride this momentum.”

Contrary to the result, it was the Titans’ game in the first half.

Pumped by the excitement that comes with a homecoming game, Coal Ridge came out fired up in the first quarter. Taking the kickoff, the Titans drove 73-yards in 13 plays and running just over five minutes off the clock before Gasaway pounded his way in from 5-yards out for the early 7-0 lead.

The defense then held the Bruins on their first possession, giving the offense the ball back after a turnover on downs. However, QB Keenen Grumley promptly threw an interception to hand the ball back to the Bruins near midfield and they would capitalize on the turnover.

Two huge runs by Nolan Kissner (37 yards) and Ben Brewer who scored a touchdown from 15-yards out to tie the game at 7-7.

Gasaway and the Titans offense would answer back on their ensuing possession, scoring quickly when Gasaway ripped off a 35-yard TD run. Gasaway finished the contest with 25 carries for 165 yards and two TD’s to lead Coal Ridge’s smash mouth running game.

Yet, it was perhaps the drive at the end of the half where they didn’t score that mattered the most in the end.

After a dismal punt, Coal Ridge was handed the ball deep inside Bruins’ territory with 1:30 left. Despite getting first-and-goal from the 5-yard line, the Titans were shutout primarily a result of two fourth down penalties.

“I don’t think it was the last drive that killed us,” Coal Ridge head coach Scott Parker lamented. “We just had too many mistakes and penalties that we couldn’t overcome.”

The Titans finished with eight penalties for 42 yards while the Bruins had just three for 20 yards.

Rather than trailing 21-7 to enter the second half, Cedaredge faced a manageable 7-point deficit and the team that entered with tough losses to Paonia and Hotchkiss, came out energized in the final stanza to shutout the Titans in the second half and hand them the loss.

“Coal Ridge is a vastly improved football team,” Hollembeak said. “They played their butts off, holy cow! It’s just a big win for our kids.”

Kissner led the Bruins with 124 yards on the ground and a TD on 23 carries. Brewer added 47 and Matt Truitt 32 yards on nine carries.

Grumley finished 5 of 14 passing for 68 yards with two interceptions in the loss.

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