Demons power through emotions for win on road
The Steamboat Springs and Glenwood Springs high school football teams got a reminder before Friday night’s football game for all the practice put in and all the effort doled out, it’s just a game.
Five Glenwood Springs students, including two football players, were involved in a car accident Thursday night. Sophomore Victor Gamez, a wide receiver and safety on the football team, was most seriously injured and transported to Denver for care.
The accident shook both schools, the Demons playing Friday night with heavy hearts and the Sailors with No. 40 written on athletic tape on their helmets, honoring Gamez.
“Most high school kids, they just don’t know where to put their emotions, so anything you can do as a teacher or a coach helps them get through,” Glenwood coach Rocky Whitworth said. “We hung in there for him tonight.”
Through that emotion the Demons found all the focus they needed to lay down a dominating performance, earning their first win of the season.
Glenwood ran the ball with authority and shut Steamboat down across the board, racking up a 48-7 victory.
Glenwood senior Easton Gaddis ran for three touchdowns and quarterback Jake Townsley ran for another, the pair leading a rushing attack Steamboat couldn’t stop, especially early.
Turnovers have bedeviled Glenwood so far this season. They’ve given up 11 in two games. Friday, they lost just one, and that was late with the game decided.
“We’ve gotten a little better for the first two games and now tonight was our best performance,” Whitworth said. “We played much better.”
It wasn’t just the offense, either.
The Sailors were rocked back on their heels early, but recovered defensively in the second quarter, holding on three consecutive drives. Glenwood didn’t stop scoring, however.
They got one touchdown on a 20-yard interception return by Juan Felan, then another when Jake Brown blocked a Steamboat punt and Erwin Rodriguez ran it in for another touchdown.
That made it 34-0 midway through the second quarter.
Glenwood scored again on defense in the third when linebacker Stephen Romero ripped the ball from Steamboat quarterback Nate Roach in the end zone for a touchdown.
“We had some younger kids playing out of position and they did the best they could,” Steamboat coach Lonn Clementson said. “When another team has more depth, has more experience and is bigger faster and stronger then we are, you’re never going to get down on the players because of that. We did also make some mistakes that we absolutely have to clean up.”
The Sailors offensive woes continued Friday. A fourth-quarter touchdown drive orchestrated by back-up quarterback Ford Louden — Kaden Mendonca scored from two yards out to cap it — helped push the team into positive offensive yardage on the night. It finished with 32 yards of offense.
The team struggled missing a trio of starters from its offensive line, most notably senior captain Charlie Harrington, who pulled a hamstring in the team’s last game.
“Glenwood’s going to make some noise in Class 3A,” Clementson said following the loss to Glenwood. “We wish we had executed better and had a few more stops and gotten some first downs. We need to be better as a program and that starts with me.”
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Amid hundreds of cleat-footed little leaguers casually gathered along the first baseline, the glare of parents’ sunglasses deflecting the early morning sun, coach Troy Phillips began a trip down memory lane.