Football dominates area preps weekend
Keep the engine running.
Prep football fans have a rare opportunity to catch two games involving four area teams on Friday night – providing the roads are clear of local police and weekenders escaping to the Front Range.
Delays in the reconstruction of the field lights at Rifle High’s Bear Stadium forced a time change to 5 p.m. from the original 7 p.m. scheduled kickoff for Rifle’s nonleague contest against Roaring Fork High School.
The shift allows fans to scoot back up Interstate 70 a couple hours later to Glenwood’s Stubler Memorial Field for the 7 p.m. affair between the host Glenwood Springs Demons and the Basalt Longhorns.
Both games feature plenty of standout players.
Rifle and Roaring Fork, both 1-0 after Week 1 victories over Colorado Springs Harrison and Glenwood, respectively, each have star running backs in their offensive backfields.
Bear fullback Troy Weiss started his senior season off last week with a bang. The 2002 Class 3A all-state selection scored four touchdowns while rushing for 211 yards in 30 carries in Rifle’s 42-17 trouncing of Harrison.
Roaring Fork’s main weapon, James Leonard, opened the 2003 campaign with a team-leading 137 rushing yards and scored the only touchdown in the Rams’ 7-3 win over Glenwood.
Entering Friday’s game, both teams were ranked high in the state prep football polls. Rifle was ranked No. 6 by the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post in Class 3A.
Roaring Fork is ranked No. 8 among Class 2A football teams in the Denver Post state poll.
Demons ready for action
Glenwood gained respect in last week’s four-point loss to Roaring Fork in Carbondale. Now, the 0-1 Demons are anxious to put what they learned in defeat against winless Basalt.
A much-improved Demon defense held Roaring Fork’s potent offense to seven points. And, a retooled offense, featuring more passing than in years past, made a successful debut last week.
Glenwood finished with more passing yards (34) than rushing (32) in the Roaring Fork game. And, both Demon quarterbacks – Chris Tolar and Eric Lundin – looked comfortable running the new offense.
Basalt absorbed a 49-13 pounding at Class 1A Meeker last week.
The Longhorn touchdowns came on Connor Meyer’s 35-yard pass interception in the first quarter and a 75-yard TD pass from Kaleb Nye to Cody Burholder in the second period.
The area’s other football game takes place at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Parachute where the host Grand Valley Cardinals puts their 1-0 unbeaten record on the line against Class 2A Aspen (0-1).
Rest of prep schedule light
The rest of the prep schedule is on the thin side. Here’s what is planned for the weekend:
Rifle and Basalt have boys soccer games on tap.
Basalt, 0-1 prior to Thursday’s game with Roaring Fork, hosts Eagle Valley in a league contest Saturday morning.
On Friday, Rifle, still looking for its first win of the year, travels to Class 5A Fruita Monument for a nonleague game.
The only girls volleyball match will be at 3 p.m. Saturday in Carbondale when Roaring Fork faces Cedaredge. The game is Class 3A Western Slope League opener for both teams.
Rifle’s girls softball team (1-3 overall, 0-1 league) plays in the Summit Tournament on Friday and Saturday at the Blue River softball fields in Silverthorne. The Bears open with back-to-back contests against Platte Canyon and Aspen at 3 and 4:30 p.m., Friday.
In cross-country, Glenwood, Rifle and Alpine Christian Academy of Basalt are scheduled to participate in Saturday’s Montrose Invitational.
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