Quick start, defense keys Demon victory over 3A WSC foe Delta
It’s nice to play with a lead. And it didn’t take the Glenwood Springs football team long to get one Friday night.
Quarterback Chris Toler hit a streaking Cody Brickell for a 60-yard touchdown pass on Glenwood’s first offensive play from scrimmage, then left the rest to the defense as the Demons downed Delta 21-6 in a Western Slope Conference contest at Stubler Memorial Field.
“We planned on it,” Glenwood coach Craig Denney said of the opening offensive play. “We talked during the week and said, `Let’s just make it happen.’
“Toler threw the perfect ball and Brickell ran the perfect route,” he added. “It was a big play. It gave us momentum.”
Kicker Joe Schreiner missed the extra point, but Glenwood (2-3 WSL, 4-4 overall) notched touchdowns on its next two drives.
Glenwood orchestrated an 11-play, 65-yard drive that Mike Hoban capped with a 2-yard run up the middle. An Adam Vincent counter run into the end zone on the 2-point conversion gave the Demons a 14-0 lead with 3 minutes, 40 seconds left in the first quarter.
After forcing Delta into another punting situation, Brock Milhorn and Toler had runs of 17 and 18 yards, respectively, during a 59-yard, nine-play drive. Tom Suazo, who also had an interception in the game, sealed the contest with a 4-yard run for a 21-0 Demon advantage with 9:50 left in the half.
From that point it was all defense for both squads.
The Panthers drove to the Demon 17-yard line on the next possession – the first time in the game Delta was able to move deep into Demon territory – but a bad snap on the field goal attempt kept the Glenwood shutout intact.
Hoban recovered his first of two Delta fumbles with 8:42 left in the third quarter, but Glenwood couldn’t convert the turnover into points. In fact, the opposite proved true.
On third-and-15 Delta’s Victor Sheetz read a Glenwood screen pass and intercepted Toler before sprinting 50 yards for the Panthers only points of the night with 6:26 left in the third quarter.
The interception was one of the only blemishes on an otherwise solid outing for Toler. The sophomore quarterback finished 4-for-8 for 108 yards with two interceptions and a touchdown. He also looks like he has gained confidence in running the option, as he ran for 33 yards and made good decisions on the pitches.
“He has matured like I was hoping he would,” Denney said. “A year from now he won’t make that mistake and he’s doing what we want him to do.”
Delta began to make a run with Curtis Englehart recovering an Adam Vincent fumble on the ensuing drive, but the Panthers gave the ball back to Glenwood the next play when Delta quarterback Blake Carlquist fumbled and Hoban recovered.
Neither team was particularly careful with the ball. Delta turned the ball over five times (three fumbles, two interceptions), while the Demons gave the ball away three times (two interceptions, one fumble).
The Panthers again threatened early in the fourth quarter but the Glenwood defense stymied Delta on fourth-and-3 on the Demon 25.
A first down likely would have secured the game for Glenwood after the turnover, but it didn’t happen. A quarterback sneak on third-and-1 on the Glenwood 34 came up short and, rather than punt, Denney opted to go for it on fourth down and about a foot. Tyler Phillips was stacked up short of the marker and the Delta rally was alive.
“I promised the kids I’d try not to make any bonehead calls this week,” Denney said. “That was a dumb call.”
Fortunately for Denney and the Demons, the defense remained staunch.
Delta drove to the Glenwood 6 before senior linebacker Jeremy Ureche came up with a loose ball to end the comeback bid.
“I was proud of (the defense) responding like that,” Denney said.
“We worked hard when they got in the red zone and forced the turnover we needed,” Ureche added. “Milhorn had three stripped balls (on the night) and Tyler George and Mike Trieble were stopping (Delta’s) O-line.”
Carlquist led all rushers with 125 yards while teammate Brett Christie finished with 118.
Glenwood had 225 yards rushing as a team, but spread the ball around. Vincent led the team with 52 yards, while Hoban and Milhorn tallied 41 and 40, respectively.
The Demons travel to Battle Mountain Friday for a nonconference game at 7 p.m. Friday.
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Down 14-7 with less than 11 minutes left in regulation, Rifle head coach Todd Casebier decided it was time to deviate from his ground-and-pound offense for a bit of an aerial attack.