Demons hold on, clip Lobos 17-16
Glenwood Springs High School’s football team needed a big play as the clock wound down to preserve its first win of the season after Conifer High.
The Lobos drove 96 yards on their final possession to pull within a point of the Demons on Friday night in Glenwood. Conifer went for two instead of kicking the game-tying point after. Glenwood held tough when it had to, as Vaughn Brasseaux’s pass into the end zone fell short and Demons held on for a 17-16 nonleague victory at Stubler Memorial Field.
“When they signaled from the sideline they were going for two, we saw that and knew we had to step up,” Glenwood outside linebacker Dante Sparaco said. “In the end, we wanted it more.”
The Lobos (1-1) also stepped up when they had to. Trailing 17-10 with 2 minutes, 1 second remaining, Conifer began its final drive on its own 4 following a coffin-corner punt from Glenwood’s Chase Nieslanik. The Lobos faced a fourth-and-5 at their own 9 when Matt Aceto completed a 22-yard pass to Richie Benson, then followed that with completions of 20, 19, 15, 19 and 13 yards on consecutive pass attempts to bring the Lobos to the Demons’ 3. He spiked the ball to stop the clock, then found Benson again inside the end zone with 12 seconds remaining in the game.
Brasseaux — who shared snap-taking duties with Aceto and was 1-for-7 passing for 13 yards for the game — was inserted at quarterback for the two-point try. He was pressured by the Demons from his left side, and his throw to the end zone off his back foot fell short of its target.
Aceto went 11-for-17 passing for 166 yards and, not counting his spike to stop the clock, was 7-for-8 for 96 yards on the final drive for the Lobos.
“That team [Conifer] played well enough to win, and it’s one of those games that just came down to a few plays,” Glenwood coach Rocky Whitworth said. “But I’m happy for our players. They were able to hang in there and hang tough.”
One of the players who made some of those key plays was Robert Hiles, whose 35-yard field goal with 5:56 remaining in the game turned out to be a difference maker. Hiles also came up with a big play at the end of the third quarter, recovering a fumble by Brasseaux on the Demons’ 2 after the Lobos had driven the ball 45 yards in eight plays trailing Glenwood 14-7.
It was the Demons who had to make the comeback at first, though.
On its second play from scrimmage, Conifer running back Kailib Geer ran untouched into the endzone from 79 yards away to givethe Lobos a 7-0 lead following the point-after kick from Jake Romero. The Demons finally answered at the end of the second quarter, capping an eight-play, 81-yard drive with a 10-yard TD run from Sparaco at quarterback to even the score at 7-7 following Hiles’ point after. Glenwood forced Conifer into a three-and-out on its next possession and, four plays later, Sparaco lofted the ball to Nieslanik from 20 yards out to give Glenwood a one-touchdown halftime cushion.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the way we handled things tonight,” Hiles said. “That’s a great team we just beat.”
Sparaco finished 12-of-21 passing for 204 yards and that touchdown pass, and Evrett Marr had eight catches for 109 yards and added 101 rushing yards on nine carries.
Glenwood continues nonleague play at Brush on Sept. 12.
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It may be by a technicality, but the Valley Valkyries 7s rugby club were the de facto champions of their hosted tournament Saturday.