Palisade looks to claim bragging rights in weekend battle with Glenwood Springs
Grand Junction correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Will it be a good day or a bad day?
That’s what concerns Palisade head football coach John Arledge the most going into Saturday’s game with Glenwood Springs at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction.
The fact that the game pits the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in Class 3A against each other doesn’t concern him most, or the fact that the loser falls from the unbeaten ranks.
Boil everything down “and really it’s just another game for each other,” said Arledge. “The reality of it is we and they are playing for a spot in the playoffs.”
However, there are some prizes that go to the winner. Most probably, the team who wins becomes the Western Slope Conference champions. Another is earning a higher seed in the postseason.
Plus bragging rights.
That’s something the Bulldogs would enjoy after watching Glenwood celebrate a 34-21 victory last year on their home turf.
Success all comes down to that good day/bad day thing Arledge mentioned.
“Against Glenwood, we could have a great day and they could have a bad day, and we’re gonna look better than we are. They could have a great day and we could have a bad day, and they are going to look better than they should.”
That’s not to say Arledge or the Bulldogs are taking the Demons lightly.
“They have scored more running touchdowns than passing touchdowns. They can run the ball and they have some good linemen up front. So our work’s going to be cut out for us to stop the run,” Arledge said.
Along with the Demons’ running game, Arledge and the coaching staff also have the additional worry of figuring out how to muzzle Glenwood quarterback Dakota Stonehouse.
“I think (Stonehouse) is a fabulous football player,” said Arledge. “He’s a smart kid.
He’s very athletic. He’s tough and he’s strong. For us, he’s an obstacle that we can only control to a point. He’s going to make some plays and make great decisions. Hopefully, we can confuse him into making some bad decisions.”
One way to control Stonehouse is keeping him off the field.
Palisade can do so with its running game ” a running game that’s fully healthy.
All four of the Bulldogs running backs are in top shape since the beginning of the year.
That bodes well for Palisade, who has run for almost 2,400 yards in eight games.
Travis Fehlmann leads the team with 705 yards and 8 touchdowns. Aaron Wagler also has scored eight TDs. Zack Adair, who’s been slowed with a knee injury, is back running at full speed.
“Time of possession is going to be huge,” Arledge said. “Our best defense is our offense in this case because their running and passing game is so good. If we can control the ball that clock speeds up their time of possession and opportunities will be limited, too.”
Reach Phil Sandoval at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This game. This rivalry. This season. It hasn’t meant this much in a long time.