Demons pull off comeback victory
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
For almost 36 minutes of play on Friday night, Delta dominated Glenwood and was looking much like a spoiler aiming to ruin Glenwood’s perfect season.
Luckily for the Demons, and their undefeated record, Glenwood came to life in the final quarter, scoring three touchdowns to complete a 34-20 come-from-behind win. Although Glenwood had already clinched a postseason berth and the Class 3A Western Slope League Championship prior to the game against Delta, the win was still huge. And for more reasons than just the undefeated 10-0 record, which is the first since 1982.
“A win like this in a game like this can be good for us in a lot of ways going into the playoffs, and our players are realizing they have to step up,” said Glenwood head coach Rocky Whitworth. “And we were behind 20-8, so a comeback is nice. We haven’t had one of those.”
With 3:46 left to go in the third quarter, No. 1-ranked Glenwood was trailing the Panthers 20-8. That’s when the Demons’ “on” switch finally flipped. Dakota Stonehouse capped an eight-play drive with a 49-yard dash down the sideline and into the end zone to pull the Demons within five.
“We came out slow (in the first half) and then we were pissed off in the locker room (at halftime) and we came out fired up and we were just like ‘come on we shouldn’t be losing,'” said Glenwood running back Jordan Ciani. “They (the coaches) got us fired up pretty well in there.”
After the Glenwood defense held the Panthers to three and out, the Demons only needed three offensive plays on the ensuing drive to take their first lead of the game. Stonehouse hit Connor Riley for a 40-yard touchdown play, and even though the Demons fell short on the 2-point conversion, Glenwood took a 21-20 lead.
After another Demon D stop, Glenwood got the ball back and quickly found the end zone again, this time on a 6-yard run by Stonehouse. The Demons missed the extra point, however, going up 27-20 and leaving space for a Delta comeback with 8:26 to go in the game.
Then Kevin Screen made a huge play to eliminate that threat. The junior picked of a pass from Delta QB Kevin Osborne at the 24-yard line when Delta was moving the ball efficiently down the field.
“We knew 85 (wide receiver Brenton Hines) was beating us all night, so I just keyed in on him and the quarterback basically just threw it up and I happened to be in the right place,” Screen said.
As if that play wasn’t big enough, after two big runs from Ciani, Screen reeled in a 44-yard touchdown pass from Stonehouse with 5:45 left to give Glenwood a two-score lead.
“That was way big,” Screen said of the 34-20 advantage. “That gave us momentum and just put it away, basically.”
Screen came up with one more big play before the final whistle blew, tipping an Osborne pass that landed in the arms of his Demon teammate Ryan Montover. The turnover put the stake into the Panthers and sealed the win.
Despite the strong finish, Whitworth sees a lot of room for improvement.
“Delta played really well tonight. Credit to them, but we had mental breakdowns and just did not finish like I hoped,” he said. “All we can do is get in there and try and get a little bit better and see what we can do and try to improve on it.”
Stonehouse finished the game going 12-of-22 for 213 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. He also ran for 125 yards and two scores. Ciani, who filled in for the injured Michael Hudson, carried the ball 12 times for 102 yards and Riley caught three passes for 94 yards and two TDs.
The Demons will host a first-round playoff game on Saturday, Nov. 10, but Glenwood will have to wait until the Colorado High School Activities Association announces the playoff bracket on Sunday to find out its opponent.
At Stubler Memorial Field, Glenwood Springs
Delta 0 20 0 0 ” 20
Glenwood 0 8 7 14 ” 34
D ” Brenton Hines 27 pass from Kevin Osborne (Luke Schmalz kick no good), 11:54.
D ” Hines 6 pass from Osborne (Schmalz 2-point conversion good), 4:25.
GS ” Connor Riley 37 pass from Dakota Stonehouse (Donnie Jennert 2-point conversion), 2:42
D ” Tyler Gieck 8 pass from Osborne (Schmalz kick no good), 0:17
GS ” Stonehouse 49 run (Taylor Parsons kick good), 0:33.
GS ” Riley 40 pass from Stonehouse (2-point conversion no good), 10:54
GS ” Stonehouse 6 run (Parsons kick no good), 8:21
GS ” Screen 44 pass from Stonehouse (Screen kick good), 5:31.
First downs 14 13
Total Yards 339 476
Rushes-yards 35-143 34-263
Passing 196 213
Comp-Att-Int 13-27-2 12-22-2
Punts 6-39 3-33
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties-yards 10-80 7-57
RUSHING ” Glenwood, Stonehouse 14-125, Jordan Ciani 12-102, Michael Hudson 4-18, Donnie Jennert 1-10, Screen 3-8. Delta, Luke Schmalz 19-110, Hank Howard 5-13, Gieck 9-11, Osborne 2-9-.
PASSING ” Glenwood, Stonehouse 12-22-2. Delta, 13-27-2.
RECEIVING ” Glenwood, Riley 3-94, Screen 3-61, Jennert 1-35, Bennett Nicola 3-22, Ciani 1-12, Alex McPherson 1-1. Delta, Hines 9-124, Phillip Decker 1-49, Schmalz 2-14, Gieck 1-8.
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As a new transplant to the area, each week I will feature a trail within the Garfield County limits. For this inaugural week, I’m highlighting Glenwood Springs’ own Atkinson Canal Trail.