Return pays dividends for Rams
By G. Sean KellyGSPI Sports EditorCARBONDALE – The Glenwood Springs Demons had better offensive production and didn’t allow Roaring Fork to score an offensive touchdown.For the most part, the Demons won the battles on the field. But they came up short in the most important area – on the scoreboard.
“You get 60 plays and sometimes it comes down to four or five,” said Glenwood Springs High School head coach Rocky Whitworth, who coached Roaring Fork to a state title in 1977 and is now in his first season with the Demons. In Friday night’s 6-3 nonconference prep football loss to rival Roaring Fork, one play in particular stands out.With seven minutes left in the game Roaring Fork’s Jake Bowman gathered in a Demon kickoff at the 8-yard line. A quick stop, a quick cut and 92 yards later the Rams found themselves leading a game in which the offense amassed less than 70 yards.”I can’t believe we won that game,” Roaring Fork coach Tory Jensen said. “Hats off to Glenwood. They had us outschemed for sure. That’s a heck of a coaching staff.”The Demons seemed to have Bowman penned in on the return, but the junior made a quick stop at the 20-yard line and cut through a trio of Glenwood coverage players. Once he broke into the open field all Glenwood could do was watch the speedster stride into the end zone.
“I thought, ‘We’re not going to lose this game,’ and took off as fast as I could and used all my heart to get through,” Bowman said. The hole in the coverage “was a tight squeeze, but it looked big when I was looking for the end zone.”Bowman’s touchdown knocked the wind out a Glenwood team that took control of the game on the previous drive. Prior to the return, Glenwood used a Roaring Fork fumble on the exchange between quarterback Aaron Markham and Bowman to set up a drive to the Rams’ 3-yard line. The Demons settled for a Joe Schreiner field goal to break a scoreless deadlock.Considering how the Glenwood defense was playing, it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility three points would be enough for the victory. Roaring Fork managed just five first downs in the game and got inside the Glenwood 30 just once – on a fumble recovery at the 29.”Their kids were playing hard,” Jensen said of the Demons. “They’ve got a good football team with a lot of heart.”The resiliency of Roaring Fork and Glenwood’s missed opportunities proved to be the difference.
Roaring Fork put the ball on the ground eight times – four of which were recovered by the Demons – and Glenwood drove inside the Rams’ 20 three times. But due to a pair of missed field goals and penalties – including a holding call that negated a Chris Toler touchdown run – the Demons only had three points for their efforts.”The base emotion is disappointment,” Whitworth said after the game. “Roaring Fork played well and made the plays when they had to.”It was a typical opening game, as both defenses benefited from miscommunication, opening-day jitters and penalties on the offensive side of the ball.Glenwood running back Pat Reardon, who got stronger as the contest went on, supplied most of the game’s offense with 118 yards on 26 carries. The victory for Roaring Fork was costly. The Rams, who don’t have much depth to begin with, saw two starters go down with injuries. Wide receiver/defensive back Luke Harris suffered what is believed to be a broken hand and running back/linebacker Christian Tena left the game with a knee injury.Glenwood Springs travels to Delta for the Class 3A Western Slope League Conference opener on Friday. Roaring Fork is also on the road with a Class 2A nonconference game at Bayfield on Saturday.Glenwood Springs travels to Delta for the Class 3A Western Slope League Conference opener on Friday. Roaring Fork is also on the road with a Class 2A nonconference game at Bayfield on Saturday.
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