Demons 4th quarter rally falls short in loss to Ft. Morgan

Phil Sandoval

Anguish is tough, especially for a high school football team.

But there are moments in a season a team has to endure to get stronger – and better.

After losing a tough 13-7 game to Fort Morgan on Saturday, Glenwood Springs, 1-2, has the trauma of mentally replaying the loss until taking their frustrations out on the practice field Monday.

The defeat, head coach Craig Denney said, “is something you have to keep in perspective.”

“It’s high school football. You have the kids learn about it. The coach learns about it and you move on.”

A tangible point the Demons learned is taking care of the football.

Glenwood committed four turnovers in the contest.

Two cost the Demons touchdowns.

On the Demons’ first offensive series of the game, quarterback Chris Toler’s poorly aimed third-down pass was gobbled up by Fort Morgan defensive back Juan Chavira at the Mustangs’ 30-yard line. Chavira zipped into the end zone for the lead.

Down 7-0 after Mustang kicker Jose Rodriquez’s extra point, the Demons roared back.

Finding an open seam after fielding the ball on his own two, senior Mike Hoban cut left and found a clear path to Fort Morgan’s end zone.

Sixteen seconds later, Hoban’s 98-yard scamper combined with Joe Scheiner’s PAT tied the game at 7-all.

Then both team’s defenses took over.

Demon Dustin Braeger put the brakes on a 20-play Mustang drive after Hoban’s runback when he beat down Fort Morgan quarterback Kyle Lieurance’s fourth-down pass at the Glenwood 26.

Turnovers ended two second quarter Demon drives in Fort Morgan territory.

Toler’s second of three interceptions in the first half led to the Mustangs’ go-ahead touchdown.

Jim Marek returned the ball from the Mustang 10 to the 22.

First down passes from Lieurance to four different receivers took the ball to the Demons’ 10, close enough for workhorse runner David Marquez to bull over from the 1 three plays later.

Glenwood’s Matt Wilson blocked Rodriguez’s extra point try.

Fort Morgan couldn’t add to their six-point lead as both teams fought to a scoreless third quarter.

In the fourth period Toler hit his stride. The junior had a key 13-yard run and a 15-yard pass play to Jake Maudlin to move the Demons inside Fort Morgan’s 15 on separate drives

Unfortunately Glenwood came up empty on both attempts when they failed to conver on fourth down.

Trevor Geist’s sack stopped one drive. Marek’s swat of a Toler-to–Maudlin pass from the Mustang 3 ended the second march.

Still, with six minutes left to play, Glenwood got the ball one last time and came within inches of winning.

Operating from the Demon 19 after a Fort Morgan punt, Toler hit Mauldlin for a 12-yard gain and reached the 32 on another completion.

With 1:45 remaining, Toler’s fourth-and-10 pass barely evaded Maudlin’s grasp around the Mustang 35.

Out of downs, the Demons turned the ball over to the Mustangs.

Then, Fort Morgan was able to run the clock out in the game’s remaining seconds.

“We have to bring him along just like we have to bring everyone else along,” Denney said of his quarterback, who returned to action Friday after sitting out the Basalt game with injuries.

“We have to make him feel good about what he did right and teach about the things he did wrong and go from there,” Denney added.

That’s what Denney plans to work on this week with the Demons as they prepare to open the Class 3A Western Slope Conference season against Moffat County at home at 7 p.m. Friday.

“Moffat’s got a good ball club,” said Denney. “We just have to go into league and take care of ourselves.”

“This game we probably learned more today than the first two games together. So we have to work to that end to change things to get us on track.”

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