Popick ruins night for Demons
GRAND JUNCTION – One play. That was the difference between Glenwood Springs pulling off arguably the biggest upset of the prep football year in Colorado or suffering a heartbreaking defeat to Class 3A No. 1-ranked Palisade Friday night.The Bulldogs’ Jason Popick scored on an 80-yard run and, combined with an earlier Glenwood missed extra point, rallied Palisade past the upstart Demons 14-13.It’s the second time in four games the Demons have had a victory slip away in the fourth quarter. In their season-opener three weeks ago, Roaring Fork’s Jake Bowman returned a kickoff for a touchdown that resulted in a 6-3 Glenwood loss.But the defeat doesn’t pale the Demons accomplishment Friday in front a big homecoming crowd at Stocker Stadium.
“It was a great high school football game,” said first-year Glenwood coach Rocky Whitworth. “I’m real proud of the kids and we were right at the brink of upsetting the No. 1 team in the state.””Glenwood did everything but win the game,” Palisade coach Todd Casebier said. “Their coaches had a great game plan and their kids played very hard. We just made one play more than they did.”The touchdown-producing play Casebier mentioned came with 3 minutes, 28 seconds remaining. Busting free from the first wave of Glenwood defenders, Popick cut back inside from a hole created by his left tackle, and raced untouched into the end zone.After tying the score at 7-all on Adam Vincent’s 5-yard run just before halftime, Glenwood unlocked the mysteries to a previously stubborn Bulldog defense.”We felt that we could use some misdirection (plays), because they were overloading us on one side and we felt that we could get outside,” Whitworth said.
Chris Toler and Vincent filled the bill and raced the ball from Glenwood’s 23 after the second-half kickoff to Palisade’s 40 in eight plays before a Toler fumble gave the ball to the Bulldogs at midfield. But, Glenwood’s defense responded by shutting down Popick and Palisade’s offense.Key defensive plays by Justin Montover and Ryan Wyckoff forced Palisade to turn the ball over on downs. Taking over at the Demons 35, junior Jeremy Christner gained a first down on a 19-yard reverse around left end to get inside Palisade territory.A second big-gainer by Vincent put Glenwood on the Bulldog 3, where quarterback Eric Lundin capped the 5-play, 65-yard drive with a 1-yard dive into the end zone with 2:55 left in the third quarter.Up 13-7 after a missed extra point, the Demons put together another long drive in the fourth quarter, but failed to add to their lead.First down runs by Toler and Reardon moved Glenwood to the Palisade 10 yard-line. But, a holding penalty on third down, after losing four yards a play earlier, took the Demons back to the 26.
Lundin gained seven yards back, but kicker Joe Schreiner’s 35-yard field-goal attempt sailed wide.Then Popick, who stepped in as Palisade’s main offensive weapon with star running back Kyle Britton forced to the sidelines for a breaking a school rule, won the game in one fell swoop.No. 2 Rifle handles DeltaRifle (4-0, 3-0 WSC) maintained its share of first place in the 3A Western Slope League with a harder-than-expected 35-21 win at Delta Friday.”We were sluggish and the emotion wasn’t there like it was against Steamboat Springs,” said Bears coach Darrel Gorham.Rifle, offensively, was hindered by fumbling the ball inside the Panthers’ 10-yard line Gorham said. And, defensively, Delta managed to gain yardage on “a couple of deep passes.”The Bears host Glenwood Friday.
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