Demons bring home title
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
AURORA, Colorado ” It was halftime and Glenwood Springs had a 10-7 lead.
The crowd was still energized but there was a negative buzz that engulfed the Glenwood side of Legacy Stadium.
Fort Morgan just scored on a 29-yard touchdown pass with just 23 seconds to go. The crowd was suddenly uneasy. There was concern. What was a comfortable 10-point lead was now just three.
But the crowd, along with the Fort Morgan defense hadn’t seen everything from the Demon playbook yet. That’s by design.
“We always hold some things back,” head coach Rocky Whitworth said. “We didn’t do a lot of things differently in the second half but we always save some things.”
What the Demons held back mostly was the quarterback draw.
Even though the late second-quarter TD pass shifted the momentum to Fort Morgan, the Demons’ defense were undaunted to start the second half.
After defense backs Garrett Kobobel and Drew Walters forced a pair of incompletions with tight coverage, the Mustangs punted the ball back to the Demons and the momentum was back up for grabs..
“Defensively we just kept doing what we needed to do but (offensively) we really saved some things that we hadn’t run, like the quarterback draw,” Whitworth said.
In the first half, Dakota Stonehouse was held to just four yards rushing.
Every time he took a snap, the Mustang defense swarmed him like a bunch of angry bees. Stonehouse scrambled, dodged, ducked and basically fled on virtually every down.
But the second half was a different story.
Time and time again, the senior blasted up the middle for big yardage.
Suddenly, there were big holes and room to run.
“We tried to do more double teams in the second half,” center Dru Avery said about the offensive line blocking
In the second half, Stonehouse rushed 13 times for 87 yards, and provided the final dagger in Fort Morgan’s season with a 7-yard scamper right up the middle on, what else, but a quarterback draw. The final TD with just 48 seconds remaining gave the Demons the 23-14 victory. In a physical, hard-hitting game, it was rather ironic that the offensive line opened a huge hole for Stonehouse’s final run of his Glenwood High career as he scampered untouched into the endzone.
Throughout most of the game, the Fort Morgan defense seemed to know exactly what the Demons were going to do.
“Fort Morgan was an outstanding team. They came well prepared and they played hard,” Stonehouse said.
Whitworth said watching the Mustangs play was like watching his own team.
“They were so skilled, tough and fast. They reminded me of us, they were so quick and fast. They played man-on-man defense and did a great job. We were limited in what we could do,” he said.
Holding the precarious 10-7 lead and seeing momentum still on the fence, the Demons used their first possession of the third quarter to make a statement.
Michael Hudson had runs of 10 and 4, then Stonehouse hit Kevin Screen for 9 yards, then zipped a laser to Luke Jacob, who bobbled the ball, then snagged it in for a 22-yard gain.
Next, Stonehouse and Screen capped the 6-play, 76-yard drive on a real da Vinci.
The masterpiece started when Stonehouse looked left, pump faked, then lofted a gorgeous pass down the right sideline that landed in Screen’s hands at the goal line for a 34-yard TD pass.
Demons fans went wild and momentum shifted back to Glenwood.
Offensively, the Demons kept moving the ball. Behind the running of Hudson, who finished with 125 yards, and Stonehouse, Glenwood had its scoring chances. But things never come easy in state title games.
A holding penalty, a blocked field goal attempt, another holding penalty, a fumble, then Stonehouse just missed a first down on fourth-and-13 after an 11-yard run.
Lots of yardage but the scoreboard never changed for the Demons.
Almost but not quite time and time again left the Demons’ fans firmly on the edge of their seats.
After Fort Morgan cut the lead to 17-14 on a 20-yard run by Chris Cobbley to start the fourth quarter, the intensity jumped even higher.
With the Class 3A marbles there for the taking, the Demons finally put away the Mustangs. The big play in the final drive was a 32-yard run by Hudson where he weaved through the Mustang defense all the way down to the 15.
After feasting on the Mustangs’ defense in the second half, Hudson was ready for some dessert.
“There’s no better taste. I kissed the gold ball and it’s the sweetest taste ever. It’s better than cake, better than anything on this planet,” he said with a huge smile.
When two undefeated teams clash, yards and points are hard to come by, but the Demons found ways to make plays and the result was the first state championship in 28 years for Glenwood Springs High School.
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