Glenwood Demons football keeps playoff hopes alive with 20-12 win over Eagle Valley on senior night

Rifle heads to 2A playoffs as 14th seed

Mike Vidakovich
Special to the Post Independent
Glenwood Springs junior quarterback Joaquin Sandoval dives for a touchdown against Eagle Valley on Friday.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent

In a penalty-marred game Friday night at Stubler Memorial Field, the Glenwood Springs High School Demons outlasted a pesky Eagle Valley Devils outfit and held on for a 20-12 Western Slope League victory.

The sluggish nature of the entire game couldn’t have been foreseen based on the quick score the Demons put on the board to open things up.

Sophomore running back Mason Markovich scooped up the opening kickoff and raced down the sideline before being corralled by Eagle Valley tacklers just 17 yards shy of a touchdown. Two plays later, Glenwood quarterback Joaquin Sandoval bullied his way into the end zone from 5 yards out to give the Demons the early lead. Senior Andy Heisel booted the point after kick for a 7-0 margin for the home team.

The Glenwood defensive eleven took center stage next, stuffing Eagle Valley quarterback Kaden Kraft on a fourth-and-goal attempt to nullify a lengthy drive by the visitors.

The Devils weren’t to be denied again early in the second quarter. Nick Rahe tossed a fluttering and floating halfback pass that was hauled in by wide receiver Camden Carle who scampered 49 yards for the Eagle Valley touchdown. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the Devils trailing 7-6 with 8:54 to play until intermission.

Glenwood took a 13-6 lead on another quarterback keeper from Sandoval, who got a helping push into the end zone from senior running back Brody Porter. It looked like the Demons would build on that lead late in the second quarter following two big offensive plays. A 20-yard pass play from Sandoval to senior receiver Marcos Aragon and a solid run from senior Reece McMillan both went for naught when the Devils picked off an errant Sandoval pass near the goal line just prior to the half.

An Eagle Valley runner tackled by a host of Glenwood Springs defenders on Friday.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent

The yellow penalty flags were flying with reckless abandon in the second half, including seven personal foul calls between the two teams. Despite the messy play, the Demons looked like they might finally shake free from the Devils when Sandoval found Andy Heisel open for a 19-yard touchdown strike. With his brother Gus holding for him, Andy Heisel split the uprights for the point after conversion and a 20-6 Glenwood lead.

Once again, the Devils refused to throw in the towel. Running back Julius Petersen spun into the end zone to culminate a 13-yard scoring run, putting the Devils within striking distance.

The Demons, though, kept the ball on the ground and in the hands of Markovich for much of the fourth quarter to put together a decisive drive that produced no points, but ran the clock out on the Devils and dashed their hopes for a late-season upset.

“The kids all played hard tonight and it’s great the seniors got a win in their final home game,” said Glenwood coach Tory Jensen. “The kids did what they had to do tonight to get a win.”

Glenwood (5-4, 2-2 league) faces a must-win situation next Friday night if the Demons are to keep their 3A playoff hopes alive. The Demons will travel to Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction to take on the Palisade Bulldogs, closing out the regular season portion of their schedule.

Sixteen teams will qualify for the postseason in the 3A football classification, and the Demons currently sit at No. 16 in the Maxpreps rankings and hold the 18 spot in the RPI power rankings.

Eagle Valley about to snap the ball against Glenwood Springs on Friday.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent

State 2A playoff brackets set

Elsewhere Friday night, in 2A action it was the Rifle Bears over host Coal Ridge, 40-7. The Bears close out the regular season at 5-4 overall and 3-2 in the league, and earned the No. 14 seed for the 2A playoff brackets announced Sunday. The Bears are to face No. 3 Florence on the road Saturday. Meanwhile, the Titans conclude their season at 2-7 overall and 0-5 in league.

In 1A action Friday, North Fork downed Roaring Fork in Carbondale, 42-21, concluding the Rams’ season at 2-7 overall, 1-5 in league.

And in Thursday’s 2A games it was Grand Valley (finishing at 4-5, 2-3 in league) losing to Moffat County 41-0 and Basalt closing out the regular season undefeated with a 49-14 win at Aspen. The Longhorns are headed into the 2A playoffs as the No. 7 seed, and are to host No. 10 Woodland Park later this week (day and time TBD).

Senior salute: The 1A and 2A season finales this weekend marked the final game in a team football jersey for several Coal Ridge, Roaring Fork and Grand Valley players.

Those include, for Roaring Fork: Zane Garcia, Oscar Barraza, True Bure, Tyler Sieders, Doone Gohery, Max Harris, Brayden Bell, Ryan Metheney, Finn Keleher, Jose Munoz, Sebastian Silva, and Brady Samuelson; for Coal Ridge: Ryder Powell, Brandon Short, Jesus Camunez, Kutter Wilson, and Angelo Perea; and, for Grand Valley: Colton Clark, Jordan Cedeno, Steven Hicks, Kade Sackett, Jeremy Rugaard, Manuel Velasco Contreras, Andres Munguia, Jacob Doyle, Anthony Middleton, Brandon Garcia, and James Blair.

Reporter John Stroud contributed to this report.

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