Glenwood Springs football preps for battle with Berthoud |

Glenwood Springs football preps for battle with Berthoud

Baron Zahuranec
Rifle Correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Chad Spangler Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” They don’t run the exact same spread offense, but it’s close enough to know what to expect. The Glenwood Springs Demons just have to look to their own practice field for what they have to do for this weekend’s 3A quarterfinal playoff game at Berthoud.

“Yeah, we both run the spread, but we don’t run them the same,” Demons defensive coordinator Neil Goluba said. “The disadvantage of us trying to cover them, of course, is a lot of different formations. They like a lot of motion too, moving their kids around pre-snap.”

That makes it hard on the defense. Everyone needs to know what their defensive assignment is, and that can change a time or two before the center even hikes the ball.

“We have to bone up on their formations and be ready to play,” Goluba said. “I think the spread offense is for more of a skill-set team like we are, and since we’re not big in size, we’ll use our speed.”

His cornerbacks thought the same.

“I think we’re matched up pretty much the same,” right side cornerback Drew Walters said. “We just have to get fast reads and bring some good speed to the ball.”

His counterpart on the other side, Matt Snyder, also said speed could be the deciding factor in the game.

“The main thing is quick reads and coming in to help,” Snyder said. “I think we’re a kind of team that they haven’t seen before, so we’ll have to see how they react. They have a lot of different options that we have to stop.”

Glenwood runs their spread offense as more of a throwing team while the Berthoud Spartans like to use the option-based run, Goluba said.

“They do like to pass, and they use the run well,” he said. “When the ball is in the air, our defensive backs, we have some really good kids back there. It helps us out a lot that our DBs are receivers, too. They know how to get into the right position to make plays.”

The linebackers are going to be called on to stop outside option if the defensive line get blocked. Senior linebackers Jordan Ciani and Keenan Hartert and left side defensive end Aaron Zancanella are up to the challenge.

“Our speed will balance out their offense,” Hartert said. “We’re going to be wherever they are.”

“It’s playing with our brain more than anything,” Ciani said. “Because smarts are more important than brute strength. This is going to be a tough game. They have boys who know how to hit and have been in this situation before.”

The defensive keys for the Demons rely on stopping quarterback Jordan Major and running back Alex Sommers.

“We definitely have to take away the run and cover in the secondary,” Goluba said. “But, we have to stop the run first.”

“We have to make sure we swarm to the ball,” Zancanella said. “If we get them to slow down just a little bit, we’ll have someone there.”

Last weekend in the first round, Glenwood dominated the Roosevelt Rough Riders 52-10. Goluba said it didn’t matter if a win comes by blowout or by a short margin.

“We just want to win. I can’t say either way how I’d want to win, just as long as it happens,” he said. “If we’re suiting up for next week, that’s what we want. That win gave us some confidence and momentum. The kids are playing well and doing what we want. We do some pretty complicated things on defense and they’re comfortable doing it.”

Goluba doesn’t see the Demon defense crumbling any time soon. The team is riding an 11-game win streak and has been stingy on defense the whole year. They have two shutouts this season and have kept opponents under seven points in four games. On the year they’ve only given up 135 points while scoring 471 points.

“Our athleticism and the way we fly to the ball is our biggest strength,” Goluba said.

“Our defense tries to get not just one guy to the ball, but multiple guys get there.”

Berthoud isn’t too shabby defensively, either. They’ve held opponents under seven points in three of their games and have given up only 169 points in 11 contests. Offensively, they are 115 points behind Glenwood this year.

Goluba credits his players for the Demon defense’s firm hand.

“The kids have been very coachable,” he said. “Hopefully as a coach you give them the proper wisdom and instruction so they can succeed out on the field. Just look at what they’re doing so far.”

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