Similar squads face off in first-round playoff game
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — There’s not much of a difference between the Glenwood Springs High School football team and the Elizabeth Cardinals. That’s what the Demons think, anyway.
“I think the seedings don’t really matter,” Demons offensive and defensive lineman Colton Vail said. “We played Evergreen this year when they were ranked high, and we beat them pretty good. I thought that game was going to be a lot closer than it was. But once we came together as a team … and picked each other up, we took over that game.”
The game Vail spoke of was the Demons’ 35-7 victory over Evergreen on Oct. 18 at Stubler Memorial Field, when an unranked Glenwood squad beat a Cougars team that, at the time, was ranked No. 6 in the Class 3A CHSAAnow.com football polls.
Now the Demons are in a similar situation with a familiar opponent, as 12th-seeded Glenwood (7-3) will play at 5th-seeded Elizabeth (8-2) in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. today, and the game will be broadcast on KMTS, 99.1-FM.
“We’re pretty confident, but we’re not overconfident,” Glenwood offensive lineman Sam Carmer said. “We know that we can win, but there’s a lot of things we have to do right to make that happen.”
Glenwood has done a lot of things right since opening the season 0-3. Eight of the 10 turnovers the Demons have this season came during their first three games, and their defense has held its opponents to and average of 7.3 points per game during their seven-game win streak.
“We had some … issues at the beginning of the season,” senior offensive lineman and linebacker Garrett Lowe said. “Things started to really turn around once everyone got on the same page.”
An obvious impact player for Glenwood is senior running back Henry Hill, whose 1,373 rushing yards this season is one of the top totals in Class 3A. Quarterback Travis Lundin has completed 64 percent of his passes (74-for-116) and has three receivers (Justin Barham, Evrett Marr, Cole Adams) who each have caught at least 15 passes this season.
Elizabeth has two running backs — Jordan Buckham (875 rushing yards) and Chase Nicholas (811) — who have each been very effective. They also have a pair of senior quarterbacks — Brody Oliver and Logan Weber — who have shared time taking snaps all season. Oliver has thrown the ball a little more this season (57-of-132, 916 yards) but is also a threat to run, racking up 482 rushing yards this season.
The Cardinals depend a lot on skill players picking up yardage. They also run a lot of sweep plays to the outside to utilize their team speed. Defensively, they like to fill gaps quickly with that same team speed.
“They’re a lot like us, actually,” Glenwood Springs coach Rocky Whitworth said. “We’re not very big, but we rely on quickness a lot.
“On defense, they play … a very aggressive style of football,” the coach continued. “For us, we’ll have to maintain composure, hang in there and hang our hats on our defense … and stay close. If we can do that till the end, we’ll have a chance.”
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The Glenwood Springs Demons boys swim team won 11 of 12 events and swept the top-3 positions in four of the events to score a dominating team win at the Southwest Conference Championships on Friday.