Prep football: Tigers prove too tough for Demons
Boulder Daily Camera
Erie 23, Glenwood Springs 10
Erie 7 10 6 0 – 23
Glenwood Springs 0 3 0 7 – 10
Erie – Jensen 57 pass from Schenbeck (Haynes kick). Erie – Haynes 31 FG. Erie – Conilogue 28 pass from Schenbeck (Haynes kick). Glenwood Springs – Hiles 30 FG. Erie – Conilogue 5 pass from Schenbeck (Haynes kick). Glenwood Springs – Sparaco 4 run (Hiles kick).
ERIE – By the time Dante Sparaco graduates from Glenwood Springs High School, he’ll most likely have a highlight reel that rivals the length of a movie.
Pardon the sophomore if he won’t want to include much footage from Friday night.
In the ultra-prospect’s first start behind center, Glenwood Springs fell flat in a 23-10 Class 3A nonleague loss at Erie. The Demons were beaten handily, with a late touchdown run by Sparaco making the final outcome a bit more aesthetic.
“They were coming hard and they really filled the gaps,” the 6-foot-4, 226-pounder said. “Their defense was really kicking our [rear] up front in the first half. We couldn’t find an answer to that.”
Sparaco, who already has an offer from Colorado State on the table and is attracting a bevy of Division-I interest, had a few signature moments. But it took him 29 carries to accumulate his 81 yards (he would have been well over 100 if not for yardage lost on sacks), and he finished 8-for-16 passing for 70 yards.
His 4-yard scoring run with 2 minutes, 44 seconds left came with the outcome long decided.
“I definitely think it will get better and I definitely liked what I saw the last couple series,” he said.
Glenwood (0-1) came out aggressive on its first drive, when Sparaco connected Jake Gentry on a picturesque 19-yard strike for a first down. But the Demons stalled in Erie territory, then things quickly went south.
On Erie’s first play, B.J. Jensen took a swing pass 57 yards for a touchdown. Tigers junior quarterback Chantz Schenbeck, also making his first start, finished with three passing TDs, including two to Luke Conilogue.
The second of those came one play after Demons punter Chase Nieslanek kneeled for a low snap and was ruled to have his knee down on the Erie 5. The Tigers’ ensuing touchdown made it 23-3.
Schenbeck sang a different tune than Sparaco about his first start at QB, saying: “It was everything I imagined. My line held up really well and our receivers did their job. Everything fell into place.”
Another killer for Glenwood was when Sparaco had an apparent 99-yard TD run late in the third quarter wiped out because of an inadvertent whistle. Referees reduced it to a 25-yard run.
About the only additional highlight for the Demons was Robert Hiles’ 30-yard field goal as the clock expired on the first half. That allowed Glenwood to avoid a first-half shutout, and they went to the locker room trailing 17-3.
Linebacker Cristian Gonzalez also had some nice stops for the Demons.
“I felt that in the second half we pulled it together better,” Sparaco said. “It’s just that we have a lot of young players. We lost a lot of seniors last year and we just have to fill those positions. We haven’t really stepped up into those roles yet.”
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John Iuele’s fadeaway jump shot as time expired propelled the Demons to a thrilling 38-36 overtime victory against the Montrose Indians in the championship game of the Demon Invitational Tournament at Glenwood Springs High School.