After an act of disrespect earlier in the night, the Glenwood Springs High School Demons responded emphatically on the field, defeating the Grand Junction Tigers 44-10 Friday night at Stubler Memorial Field.
The tension between the teams was evident even before kickoff as a Glenwood Springs jersey was discovered dumped down a toilet by Grand Junction. This act only seemed to fuel the Demons.
Their opening statement was loud and clear. Senior Juoquin Sandoval connected with newly joined junior wide receiver Hunter Noll for the game’s first touchdown. Noll, along with several other players, recently transitioned from Roaring Fork High School to Glenwood Springs after Roaring Fork had to suspend its varsity program due to insufficient player numbers.
Sandoval wasn’t done. He rushed for the second touchdown, taking the Demons to a quick 14-0 lead.
“We have been visualizing putting up a dominant performance tonight for a couple weeks now,” said junior running back Mason Markovich. “It feels amazing to come in and play our brand of football against a team that we consider our rivals.”
On the stats sheet, Sandoval shined. He passed for 192 yards with two touchdowns and rushed for 104 yards, also adding another touchdown to his tally. The team had other standouts as well, notably Markovich, who churned out 180 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the night.
“It’s been great playing with these guys. They make us a better team,” Markovich said about the Roaring Fork players who made the move to Glenwood Springs.
Other notable contributors from Roaring Fork include sophomore Zach Bollock, who recorded 66 all-purpose yards and a touchdown. Hunter Noll, before a shoulder injury sidelined him in the second quarter, totaled 90 all-purpose yards and one touchdown.
Defensively, Sandoval and junior Oliver Walz were forces to be reckoned with, racking up seven tackles each. Sophomore Griffin Sollars also showcased his defensive skills with an interception in the second quarter.
The game saw its fair share of animosity, especially as Glenwood Springs began to assert its dominance.
“What we tell our team is that we are a family,” said first-year Glenwood Springs Head Coach Hunter Holmes. “We are always going to have our brothers’ backs on the field. It may not be the most popular thing here but that’s how we play football.”
“No one left the field, no one threw any punches but we have each other’s backs and that’s what matters,” Holmes added. “If another team throws cheap shots, they aren’t going to get away with that and that’s not something that we are going to apologize for.”
Roaring Fork senior Nick Smith, who joined Glenwood Springs this week, noted the welcoming nature of his new teammates.
“These Glenwood guys have brought us in and made us feel like we were already a part of the family before getting here,” Smith said.
Grand Junction’s junior quarterback Will Applegate acknowledged their shortcomings.
“We got outplayed, our team did some stupid things and there are a lot of things that we are going to be working on to get ready for next week,” Applegate stated.
When asked about the jersey incident, Applegate had no comment.
The Glenwood Springs Demons now shift their focus to next week as they travel to face off against the Conifer High School Lobos at 7 p.m. Friday.