Longhorns bounce back, trounce Cardinals at home
The Basalt High School football team broke into the win column for the 2017 season by scoring a convincing 44-0 home victory over the 1A Grand Valley Cardinals on Friday evening in Basalt.
Rebounding nicely from a season-opening 34-14 loss at Rifle two weeks ago, the Longhorns used a punishing ground game led by junior running back Colin Hipona and his senior backfield mate Noah Williams, to push the Cardinal defensive line down the field almost at will. The initial Basalt scoring drive though, was culminated through the air as junior quarterback Trevor Reuss found senior receiver Griffen Jenkins for a 9-yard scoring pass to put the Longhorns up at the 5:12 mark of the first quarter. The PAT by Raul Torres was perfect, and the score stood at 7-0.
With Basalt’s defense keeping Grand Valley from mustering any sizable yardage on the offensive end, the Longhorns managed to garner another touchdown tally just before the end of the initial period as Torres scored on an 11-yard end around reverse play to put the home team up 13-0. The margin stayed at 13 points when Torres offered up a rare miss on the PAT.
Much like the full moon draws water, there was a high tide of Basalt defenders harassing Grand Valley quarterback Jeff Holbrook for most of the first half of play. When the ’Horns stopped a Cardinal drive short on fourth down near midfield, the quarterback Reuss to receiver Torres connection really began to heat up for Basalt. Jenkins then got things done on the ground by taking a reverse handoff down to the Grand Valley 2-yard line before Reuss finished off the drive with a sneak across the goal line for Basalt’s third touchdown of the half. A two point conversion run by Williams put the count at 21-0.
The Longhorn onslaught showed no signs of letting up as halftime approached. A blocked Cardinal punt in the south end zone, which was covered by Grand Valley, resulted in a safety and a 23-0 deficit for the visitors from Parachute.
Basalt received the punt following the Cardinal miscue and marched quickly to pay dirt once again. Two lengthy passes to Torres was followed by a 2-yard touchdown burst by Williams with 26 seconds showing on the clock to make things look grim for Grand Valley as the score was now 30-0 following the PAT.
Neither team could manage a third quarter score, but with 8:55 to play in the game, Basalt’s Jenkins, filling in at quarterback for Reuss, lofted an 18-yard scoring pass to senior wideout Juan Rosario to put the Longhorn advantage at 37-0.
Sophomore Jackson Rapaport capped off the Basalt scoring for the evening in exciting fashion on a 54-yard touchdown scamper to put the finishing touches on the game’s final margin.
“Our offensive and defensive lines played really well tonight,” said Basalt Head Coach Carl Frerichs following the game. “We controlled the line of scrimmage and really played all phases of the game well.”
Grand Valley Head Coach Tim Lenard was well aware that his Cardinals faced a quality opponent in the Longhorns.
“Basalt was well-coached and well-prepared,” stated Lenard. “We just didn’t respond well tonight, but we did play better in the second half, and we’ll work hard this week in practice and be ready to bounce back.”
Basalt (1-1), a 2A state qualifier last season, will get to play at home again next Friday night when they will host a formidable opponent in the Delta Panthers. Grand Valley (1-1) will have to hit the road for the third consecutive week as they will travel up-valley once again to take on the winless Roaring Fork Rams in Carbondale.