Prep football: Demons look to dig up new memories vs. top-ranked Brush; Grand Valley, Roaring Fork host games
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Scott Bolitho remembers playing in a Glenwood Springs High School football uniform and making the trip to Colorado’s Front Range to play the Brush Beetdiggers.
“It was sure windy,” said Bolitho, who now works at Glenwood Insurance but was the Demons’ quarterback and punter during their Class AA semifinal game at Brush in 1977. “The weather was definitely a factor.”
Other than that, Bolitho, who was a junior that season, could only remember that Glenwood lost a close game to the Beetdiggers through those prairie-wind gusts, with Brush moving on to the state title game. There, Brush played in a game that wasn’t close, falling to the Rocky Whitworth-coached Roaring Fork Rams, 44-8.
Now, Whitworth is in his 10th year of coaching the Demons in a nonleague game Friday that could have postseason implications for both teams when Glenwood (1-1) will play at Brush (2-0) at 7 p.m. Friday.
This week, Brush was voted in as the top-ranked team in the Associated Press Class 2A football poll. Glenwood, which only received a couple of votes in the 3A poll, skimmed out a 17-16 win over postseason-regular Conifer at Stubler Memorial Field this past Friday.
The game could have playoff implications based on the wild-card points system used by the Colorado High School Activities Association, which factors in variables such as strength of schedule and margin of victory. Brush definitely has the margin-of-victory factory in its favor, beating 3A Fort Morgan, 35-3, on Aug. 29 before defeating Weld Central, 54-0, this past week.
The only thing Bolitho could remember about the margin of victory Brush had in the 1977 semis was that it “was real close.” He also remembered how the wind essentially eliminated the Demons’ passing game and how it affected his punts.
“There was one punt I had that went straight up in the air and ended up landing five yards beyond the line of scrimmage,” Bolitho remembered, laughing.
Weather seemed to play a factor in each of the Demons’ trips to the Front Range when he was playing. Bolitho recalled a semifinal game at Yuma in 1976 when the wind chill was 22-below zero. He also remembered the cold and wet conditions Glenwood played in at Burlington during the semifinals on their way to the AA state title game in 1978, where they beat Valley of Gilcrest 39-12 in a snowstorm at Stubler Memorial Field.
And there were other lasting memories, too.
“The crowd support we had was amazing,” Bolitho said. “They lined up Greyhound buses that were full of Glenwood fans who came to the game. That helped make those games a great experience.”
In other games this week:
COAL RIDGE (1-1) AT GRAND VALLEY (0-2): The Titans snapped an on-the-field winless streak during their Week 1, 47-0 victory over Dolores on Aug. 29, but Meeker brought Coal Ridge back down to Earth with its 53-6 win over Coal Ridge in Week 2. The Titans are hoping to bounce back against the Cardinals, who have shown improvement since their season-opening 41-7 loss at Aspen. Grand Valley showed big-play capabilities against Roaring Fork in its 39-20 loss to the Rams in Carbondale on Sept. 5 and are hoping to build on that this week.
OLATHE (1-1) AT ROARING FORK (1-1) — The Rams’ offense really got rolling this past week against the Cardinals, with Tanner Spence recording a rushing TD and two passing touchdowns and Sergio Vega added a rushing TD and a 96-yard interception return for a score. It staked Roaring Fork to a 26-0 halftime lead on their way to their first win of the season. Olathe, however, fell to Cedaredge 2-0 at Cedaredge on Friday when a bad snap over the head of Olathe punter Mario Hightower and out of the back of the end zone in the final minutes of the game. The Pirates got the ball back for one final drive, but were unable to score.
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It may be by a technicality, but the Valley Valkyries 7s rugby club were the de facto champions of their hosted tournament Saturday.