Glenwood outshines defending champions
BERTHOUD — In an other-worldly quarterback battle typically reserved for players in the college or pro ranks, Glenwood Springs senior Dakota Stonehouse was slightly better than his Berthoud counterpart Jordan Major.
That edge was enough to give the Demons a closer-than-it-looked 50-39 win Saturday at Max Marr Field in the Class 3A football quarterfinals, a triumph that eliminated the defending-champion Spartans.
This was perhaps the marquee performance of Stonehouse’s high school career, especially considering the magnitude of the situation. He threw for 368 yards and four touchdowns and amassed 149 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
“We knew this was going to be one of the toughest teams we ever played and that the defense would have its hands full,” Stonehouse said. “They have some great athletes on that team and we’re lucky to get away with a win.”
After Stonehouse and Major took turns navigating spellbinding drives and repeatedly one-upping one another, things ultimately came down to how the Demons responded after Berthoud took a 39-36 lead on a 2-yard plunge by Bryce Munoz with just more than 10 minutes to play.
Stonehouse directed a 70-yard drive that culminated with perhaps his finest toss of the day, a 38-yard bomb from near the right sideline that connected with Trey Fox in the left side of the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown.
“I just stuck with my route even though he was scrambling and under pressure,” Fox said of his only reception of the sun-splashed afternoon. “I just knew if he got loose, he’s got the arm strength and is a good enough quarterback to make the pass.”
With even the home Berthoud faithful buzzing a bit about the play, Glenwood kicked off with a tenuous 43-39 lead. The Demons jarred the ball from the hands of Berthoud returner Kent Flynn and Luke Jacob recovered. Three plays later, Stonehouse found running back Michael Hudson for a 16-yard touchdown and that was the ballgame.
“We’re not used to playing against teams that pass like that and have athletes like that,” said Glenwood Springs receiver Kevin Screen, who caught eight passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns. “It was a great game and a great outcome.”
Berthoud (9-3) didn’t fold after falling behind 50-39. The Spartans drove down the field, but Major was stopped at the Demons 2 on fourth down with under four minutes remaining and the Demons ran out the clock.
Major nearly equaled Stonehouse’s lofty totals, passing for 327 yards and two touchdowns and running for 81 and two scores.
“If there’s a team to go out against, it’s Glenwood,” said Major, whose signature play was a 30-yard touchdown pass to fullback Greg Glasser on a 4th-and-13 play late in the second quarter. “They fought hard, we fought hard, and since we got it done last year it’s not as hard to take. But this was just a battle. This hands-down had to be one of my top three favorite games to play in.”