Glenwood rides into playoffs |

Glenwood rides into playoffs

Jeff Caspersen
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Chad Spangler Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” It didn’t take hours of obsessing over game film for Roosevelt head football coach Ed Eastin to key in on Glenwood Springs’ greatest strength.

He realized rather quickly that the Demons can put points on the board in a hurry.

Exhibit A: Glenwood’s regular-season finale at Steamboat Springs.

Big play after big play put the Demons up 40-0 by halftime of what would finish as a 47-0 victory. Five of Glenwood’s seven touchdowns were delivered on plays covering 20 or more yards.

It’s been a formula that’s bred quite the campaign for the 10-0 Demons, holders of the top seed in the Class 3A state playoffs.

To manage the unlikeliest of first-round upsets, Eastin’s 16th-seeded Rough Riders (6-4) must lengthen the field when the Demons have the ball.

“Hopefully, we can slow them down, make them drive the length of the field,” said Eastin, whose team made the leap from 2A to 3A football this season. “I don’t know if we’ll be able to do that. Hopefully, we can.”

No team has really bottled up Glenwood’s offense this year. The Demons are averaging a little less than 42 points a game and were held to less than 30 only once ” in an Oct. 18 win at Palisade.

Not only is Roosevelt facing a potent offense, but it’s facing a squad that direly wants to reverse recent history.

The Demons are seeking their first postseason win since Nov. 10, 1990, when they beat Lewis-Palmer in the first round of the state playoffs. Since, Glenwood’s only been to the playoffs twice ” in 2004 and 2007 ” and have lost three straight in the playoffs.

Freshest in the minds of this Demon team is last year’s playoff-opening loss to Sterling, a stinging 28-27 overtime defeat in Glenwood. The Demons were the No. 2 seed, while Sterling was seeded 15th.

“We don’t want what happened last year,” Demon senior receiver/defensive back Kevin Screen said. “We just have to come out fired up and know that it’s win or go home. We don’t want to have that.”

Screen’s a big part of Glenwood’s quick-strike offense. He’s tied for the team lead in receiving yards (536) with senior teammate Connor Riley and has a team-high five touchdown receptions.

The young man firing passes in the direction of Screen and Riley, Dakota Stonehouse, has tossed for 1,710 yards and 14 scores. He’s also rushed for 562 and 15 touchdowns.

And then there’s running back Michael Hudson, who has ground out 1,223 yards and 23 touchdowns on a 12.4 yards-per-carry average.

“Glenwood’s a tough football team,” said Eastin, whose team finished fourth in the Tri-Valley Conference. “They remind us of Berthoud. They run the shotgun, have a good quarterback, a tough quarterback, a physical quarterback. They also have a good running back sitting right next to him. We’ve got to take care of those two.”

Offensively, Roosevelt will counter with a run-heavy attack.

The injury-plagued Rough Riders have encountered struggles of late, losing three straight after starting the season 6-1.

State-title contenders Fort Morgan and Mountain View dealt Roosevelt the final two blows in that three-game skid. Going up against powerhouses of those teams’ caliber is all part of life in the Tri-Valley League.

“It’s a tough league to jump into,” Eastin said. “The league in 2A (the Patriot League) was pretty tough, too. … Week in, week out we’ve got to be ready to play.”

Despite their foe’s late-season troubles, the Demons are preparing for a battle.

“They’re really good,” Stonehouse said. “They’re in a tough league. They like to hit. It’s going to be a good game.”

Roosevelt has nothing to lose as the 16th seed and is looking forward to throwing it all on the line.

“All we’ve got to do is play hard and see what happens,” Eastin said. “We’ll just throw it all out there and play. You never know what might happen. Football’s a funny sport.”

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