Demons come up short against Lobos
Throughout most of the first half of Friday’s season opening football game at Stubler Memorial Field, the Glenwood Springs student section was imploring their Demons to get going and get rowdy.
With senior quarterback Jake Townsley spending most of the evening trying to evade rushing Conifer Lobos, the rowdiness the students were calling for never quite materialized as the Demons fell behind 21-0 at halftime and couldn’t muster much offensive momentum to overtake Conifer, falling by a final score of 35-7.
The visiting Lobos started the game with a meek first offensive possession, going three plays and a punt, giving Glenwood its first opportunity to put points on the board in the 2016 season. Townsley immediately connected with sophomore receiver Luke Gair for a long gain into Conifer territory at the 44-yard line, but the Lobos jarred the ball loose from Gair and recovered the fumble, snuffing out the early Demon drive.
Conifer wasted no time in getting a score after the Glenwood miscue, as Lobo quarterback Matt Aceto found senior running back Mason Meyer in the back of the end zone for a touchdown pass that gave Conifer a 7-0 lead after kicker Jake Borchard’s PAT was good.
At the 4:22 mark of the opening stanza, after a failed Demon possession, Conifer capitalized on a strong rush through the Glenwood line, as defender Jack Prentner blocked a Demon punt attempt and then pounced on the ball in the end zone, and just like that, the Lobos had streaked out to a quick 14-0 margin.
Absorbing the early jabs by the Conifer offense, Glenwood decided to mount a drive of its own and try to get back in the ballgame. With steady rushing plays by Townsley, and senior Easton Gaddis paving the way, the Demons drove deep into Lobo territory, threatening to score. The Glenwood push to the goal line stalled as a 4th down play at the Conifer 23-yard line failed to net the necessary yardage to keep the Demon drive going.
Conifer started to march down the field once again as Meyer stiff-armed his way to a 34-yard gain on a sweep around the left side, giving the Lobos a first down at the Demon 43-yard line. Two plays later though, Aceto mishandled the snap from center and Glenwood junior Jack Ries recovered the ball to give the Demons some hope. It proved to be a false hope though, as Townsley was sacked for a 13-yard loss to put the Demons in a big hole they couldn’t get out of.
With 40 seconds prior to the halftime horn, the Lobo’s connection of Aceto to Meyer struck again on a 25-yard touchdown pass to put Conifer up by a comfortable three-touchdown margin at halftime.
Glenwood was unable to sustain a drive to start the final 24 minutes of play, and Conifer again found the path to the end zone, very quickly this time, as Aceto carried the ball on a quarterback keeper 60 yards to the north end zone, putting the Lobos up 28-0 at the 9:51 mark of the third quarter.
Despite the deficit, Glenwood’s offensive line then began to settle down and even gel together a bit, opening holes for Townsley, Gair, and Gaddis. When Townsley scooted 42 yards to a touchdown, and Alex Trejo kicked the PAT, the Demons had posted some numbers on their side of the scoreboard.
Conifer tacked on another rushing touchdown with 10:42 remaining in the game, but the Demons managed to grind out another impressive drive before all was said and done.
With the line again finding its rhythm, the Demons rushed down the field on a drive that consumed almost 6 minutes of the clock before stalling at the Conifer 2-yard line.
Veteran Glenwood coach Rocky Whitworth was concerned with some of his team’s early mistakes in the game, but overall, he was positive about the evening.
“Yes, we are young, but I was disappointed with our play early in the game,” said Whitworth. “The kids played hard though, and their attitude and work ethic is always good. If we can keep that up, we’re not so far from winning.”
Next week, the Demons will travel over the mountains to the east for a Thursday night contest against the John F. Kennedy Commanders in Denver on September 8.
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