Glenwood earns top billing in 3A football playoffs, Basalt 3rd, Rifle 4th; Cardinals make 2A playoffs |

Glenwood earns top billing in 3A football playoffs, Basalt 3rd, Rifle 4th; Cardinals make 2A playoffs

Demons host Northfield, Rifle to battle The Academy in the Bears’ den — both Saturday, May 1

As expected, the undefeated Glenwood Springs High School Demons earned the top spot in the 3A football playoffs and will host No. 8 Northfield at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 1.

In total, three area teams were awarded top-four spots in the 3A quarterfinal brackets announced Sunday.

Basalt (5-1) goes in as the No. 3 seed and Rifle (4-2) has the No. 4 seed. With that comes the right to host a first-round game this week.

In Class 2A, the Grand Valley Cardinals (3-3) make it in as the No. 6 seed in the eight-team playoffs. They’ll travel to play No. 3 Estes Park (4-2) at 1 p.m. Saturday.

On the local front, Basalt will host No. 6 Sand Creek (5-1), and Rifle, after claiming a forfeit win over Steamboat Springs on Friday, will host No. 5 The Academy (5-1).

Those games also both take place at 1 p.m. Saturday at the BHS field and Bears Stadium, respectively.

One other Roaring Fork Valley team, Aspen, also made it in as the No. 7 seed after the Skiers’ 20-13 win at Coal Ridge Friday night. Aspen (3-3) will travel to play No. 2 The Classical Academy (4-0).

Meanwhile, game time for the Glenwood Demons vs. the Northfield Nighthawks was changed to 3 p.m. Saturday at Stubler Memorial Field.

Northfield finished the regular season fourth in the 3A East standings behind No. 2 The Classical Academy, No. 5 the Academy and Sand Creek.

“They lost a pretty tough game Saturday,” Demons head coach Pat Engle said of a 28-12 win by The Academy over the Nighthawks.

“They operate out of a tight-end set, with more of a power offense with mulitple backs,” he said. “We’ll have our hands full trying to stop the power run game.“

A 49-0 win over Salida on the road Friday night gave Glenwood a chance to play some of the younger players and mix up positions among some of the starters, Engle said.

“Getting that kind of work in was good for us,” he said. “This is something the kids have worked hard for, and to do what we did over the course of season, and especially those two weeks (with wins over Basalt 21-14 on April 9 and over Rifle 22-15 on April 16) … this is the reward.”

The outcome of the quarterfinal games could result in a semifinals rematch between longtime Garfield County rivals Glenwood Springs and Rifle, either Friday night, May 7 or Saturday, May 8.

The 3A state championship game is slated for Saturday, May 15 at CSU-Pueblo.

Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or

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