Glenwood Demons trounce Titans under the Friday lights, 42-12
Post Independent correspondent
The Glenwood Springs Demons kept their unblemished football record in tact and continued to match strides with the leaders in the 3A Western Slope League with a 42-12 win over the Coal Ridge Titans Friday night at Stubler Memorial Field.
Junior running back Blake Nieslanik found the end zone on four occasions, twice on the ground and the same number in the air to spearhead a balanced Glenwood offensive attack.
Freshman quarterback Joaquin Sandoval stepped into the starting lineup — and the spotlight — for the Demons. The dual-threat signal caller tossed both touchdown scores to Nieslanik and had numerous quick, instinctive runs to keep the Titan’s defense on their heels.
Though Demon head coach Pat Engle had a number of individuals who put together highlight reel performances, he was quick to credit the win as a total team effort.
“This was a nice win for us,” Engle said. “I was extremely pleased with the offensive line and their run and pass blocking, and our defense played lights out tonight. But hats off to Coal Ridge, they battled us all night long.”
Glenwood did the majority of the damage to the scoreboard before the game’s intermission, racing out to leads of 14-0 at the end of the first quarter and 35-0 at the half.
Senior Garrett Dollahan, Nieslanik and sophomore Brody Porter carried the load on the ground for Glenwood in the first quarter. It was Porter who plowed in for the first score of the night for Glenwood from 3 yards out to put the Demons up 7-0 after the PAT.
The Coal Ridge offense, led by quarterback Karsen DuBois and running back Keelan Frees, could never find any traction in the first half and the Titan defense had little in the way of answers for the bevy of talented skill position players the Demons possess.
Nieslanik scampered 17 yards for a touchdown on a nice cutback run into the south end zone, and Sandoval scored on a quarterback draw to keep the Glenwood offense rolling. Senior tight end Wheatley Nieslanik got into the scoring act, taking in a 2-point PAT pass from Sandoval for a 28-0 Glenwood lead.
A perfectly timed 22-yard touchdown pass from Sandoval to Blake Nieslanik put a cap on the first half for Glenwood, as Coal Ridge was forced to regroup at halftime of a contest that had already slipped from the Titans’ grasp.
The start of the third period brought some hope to the Titans when senior defensive back Danny Salas intercepted a tipped pass by newly inserted Demon junior quarterback Evan Heyl, and rambled to the Glenwood 20 yard line. Two plays later, Frees crossed the goal line and Coal Ridge trailed 35-6.
With 3:44 left in the third period, Nieslanik took off on a 53-yard score for his fourth touchdown of the night to put Glenwood ahead 42-6 and put a severe damper on any comeback hopes the Titans may have had.
Glenwood (3-0) will face its toughest test of the season next Friday night when the Demons will head to Basalt to face the highly-regarded Longhorns. Coal Ridge (1-2) will try to get back on the winning track, also next Friday, with a long trip to the four corners region to face Montezuma-Cortez.
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Local teams just missed out on qualifying for state as teams but will be sending individual representatives following Friday’s regional meets.