Demons roll past Sailors on Senior Night, 47-0
The Glenwood Springs Demons football team came out fast Friday night at Stubler Memorial Field in Glenwood, scoring three touchdowns in the first three minutes of the game to jump-start a dominant 47-0 win on an emotional Senior Night.
Glenwood raced into the half with a 41-0 lead, starting the mercy rule clock in the 3A Western Slope League regular season finale, which marked the fourth time in five games that the Demons turned on the mercy rule clock in a win.
“This has been a work in progress all season,” said Pat Engle, Glenwood’s head coach. “We didn’t duck anyone all season, and we played probably one of the state champions in 3A, and possibly one in 2A. The kids just kept battling; they were resilient. We’ve mercy ruled four out of the last five teams we’ve played; the kids have just been on fire.”
Electing to receive the ball after winning the opening coin toss, Glenwood senior Gavin Olson raced 31 yards on the ensuing kickoff, setting the Demons up near midfield at the 41 yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, senior Luke Gair sprinted 46 yards, putting the ball at Steamboat’s 13 yard line 15 seconds into the game. Olson then ran 12 yards around left end to the 1 yard line, setting up Gair’s 1 yard plunge, giving the Demons a 7-0 lead just one minute, 21 seconds into the game.
On Steamboat’s first play from scrimmage, Glenwood senior safety Wyatt Ewer picked off Drew Bowers’ pass and raced 23 yards for the pick-6, pushing Glenwood’s lead to 14-0 10:31 into the game.
“That felt great,” Ewer. said “It’s been something I’ve been looking for my whole high school career. I’ve made some interceptions, but never returned one for a touchdown. To do it on our home turf in possibly my last game here was a great feeling.”
A three-and-out on Steamboat’s next possession gave the Demons the ball back, and Gair went 45 yards for the score, making it 21-0 with 9:04 left in the first quarter.
Again, Steamboat went three-and-out, giving Glenwood the ball right back. Following runs of 16 and eight yards by Olson, junior quarterback Dylan Albright found Olson for a 19-yard touchdown pass, pushing the Demons’ lead to 27-0 after the blocked extra point.
Fully in command, the Demons started to substitute defensively, which allowed the Sailors to mount a drive offensively. Bowers found junior Tanner Raper for 13 yards across the middle, before sophomore Finn Russell rushed for a 17-yard gain. Bowers again found Raper, this time for 12 yards, but a sack by Glenwood senior Joshua Sanchez forced the turnover on downs, keeping the Sailors off the board.
A holding call on Glenwood’s first play from scrimmage pushed the Demons back to their own 35-yard line, but two plays later Gair went 61 yards down the right sideline for his third touchdown in four carries, pushing Glenwood’s lead to 34-0. Gair racked up 154 yards on those four carries, scoring three times on Senior Night.
“Statistics doesn’t really matter to me,” Gair said. “I’ve learned over the last four years that this game is about more than putting up points and being good at it. It brings a lot of guys together and learns a lot of life lessons. Stats are great and they look good on paper, but that’s not what I’m thinking about right now tonight. I’m thinking about these guys, hugging these guys. There’s a lot of emotions going around; it’s just a great feeling to be part of this program.”
Late in the first half with a 34-0 lead, Glenwood triggered the mercy rule clock as Olson rushed for 11 and nine yards before Albright went 14 yards up the gut on a keeper for the score, making it 41-0 after senior Sebastian Torres’ extra point try split the uprights.
Following a lengthy halftime ceremony to celebrate the 17 seniors, Glenwood came out for the second half and dominated with the backups in as junior JP Simpson rushed for 11 yards on his first carry, while sophomore Wheatley Nieslanik rushed for 13 yards on a quarterback keeper. Junior Miguel Herrera rushed for seven yards before Simpson added 11 yards, setting up Sanchez’s 2-yard touchdown, capping off the scoring at 47-0.
Junior Luis Martinez added a late interception, preserving the shutout for Glenwood.
“This was something I felt this group was capable of all season long,” Ewer said. “We’ve been building towards this. We just needed to finish, and I said that tonight. Let’s finish a game. We did that here tonight.”
The win sees Glenwood finish the regular season 6-5 (5-1 3A Western Slope League), placing them second in the league behind Palisade. Unfortunately for Glenwood, it appears as though the season will come to an end with the Demons just missing out on a playoff spot in 3A. Heading into the game against Steamboat, Glenwood needed to be inside the top 16 in the RPI standings, but the Demons sat at No. 18. The win over Steamboat likely won’t jump them into the top 16.
“I’m very proud of the way the boys played for each other this season,” Engle said. “They truly care about each other. I’m most proud of the coaches, too. They hung in there and believed in these kids. Our seniors, I asked before the start of the season what they’re legacy would be. When you have this kind of emotion, it’s pretty fun to be around these boys, and pretty fun to have a pre-game speech with them because I know how they’ll respond. They did all season.”
“It’s been a great season,” Gair said. “We’ll see how things shake out on Sunday, but either way I’m so proud of this group. We fought hard all season long.”
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Sign language has become a bit of a competitive strategy on the court for the Glenwood Springs High School girls basketball team in recent years.