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Sterling Tigers end Demons’ season

Dan Nied

STERLING – When Glenwood Springs traveled to Sterling Saturday to open the Class 3A playoffs against the Tigers, the Demons were a team whose only limits were the state title. When they left Tiger Field with a 25-10 loss, their season was over. And with that, the Glenwood football team’s first playoff appearance in 14 years was a memory. But it looked good at first. The Demons (6-5) stormed out of the gates and intercepted Tiger quarterback Jeff Squier four times in the first half. Adam Vincent looked like the ultimate scat back and finished with 130 yards rushing on 18 carries, and Glenwood Springs took a lead into halftime. With 3:06 left in the first quarter, Squier threw his second interception, a tipped ball in the flat that Jake Mauldin returned 45 yards for a touchdown to give the Demons a 7-0 lead. After Squier’s third interception of the quarter, Sterling defensive back Shane Gertner nearly got some payback for his quarterback. Gertner picked off an Eric Lundin pass, but then fumbled it back to Glenwood Springs on the return. The Demons managed a Joe Schreiner 32-yard field goal to make the score 10-0. It appeared that Glenwood Springs would put the game away early when Vincent ran around end for a 95-yard touchdown in the second quarter. However, a clipping penalty called the play back to Sterling’s 36. From there the Demons could only muster a missed field goal attempt. “That was a very unfortunate situation,” Demons first-year coach Rocky Whitworth said. The teams traded the ball until the end of the second quarter when, with nine seconds left, the Tigers (8-3) forced Glenwood Springs to punt. What happened next all but sealed the fate of the Demons as the momentum shifted in a titanic way. Gertner took the punt at his own 41-yard line and returned it 59 yards as time expired to make the halftime score 10-7. The Demons had the halftime lead, but their highlights were done for the day. “It comes down to a game of momentum sometimes,” Whitworth said. “That was really a tough deal, that punt return. But I thought our defense played well all game. (Sterling) really deserved to win this game.”On Sterling’s first offensive drive of the second half, backup junior tailback Ryan Lock used his offensive line for a 57-yard touchdown run. Squier ran the fake extra point into the end zone for a two-point conversion to give Sterling a 15-10 lead and all the offense it would need. Sterling’s defense was electric, holding Glenwood Springs to 159 total yards and three offensive points. The Tigers also had three interceptions. “We could not get our offense going all day,” Whitworth said. The Tigers could, though. Late in the third quarter, Lock scored his second rushing touchdown, this one from 25 yards out. “Ryan stepped up and he has shown some stuff when he has gotten in the game,” Sterling coach Mark Bauder said. “He just used his speed and did a great job.”The Tigers rounded out the scoring in the fourth quarter with a 23-yard field goal. Lock finished with 102 yards on six carries. Squier was 8-of-20 passing for 84 yards and four interceptions. Gertner also threw an interception. While the Demon defense was able to force seven turnovers, the offense could not capitalize. Lundin finished with 4-of-12 passing for only 15 yards and three interceptions. Vincent also threw an interception on a halfback pass. Sterling hosts Centaurus next week in the second round. After the game, Whitworth gathered his seniors on the field to say goodbye. “I just had them put on their helmets and create a little memory as they looked through their facemasks,” he said. “Most of them will never wear a helmet again. This sport is for young boys, young men. We don’t get to play for very long.””I just had them put on their helmets and create a little memory as they looked through their facemasks,” he said. “Most of them will never wear a helmet again. This sport is for young boys, young men. We don’t get to play for very long.”


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