Cardinals can’t rally past Brush

BRUSH — It wasn’t the playoff outcome Grand Valley High School was hoping for against Brush, but the Cardinals posted a solid performance Saturday in their Class 2A playoff debut.

Coach Mike Johnson made the journey to coach his team’s 34-6 season-ending loss to the Beetdiggers despite the aftermath of post-appendectomy surgeries that had kept Johnson off the sidelines since early in the season.

Johnson even looked a bit spry on the sidelines as he reclaimed his offensive coordinator duties, and loved every second of being back despite the loss.

“Oh yeah, you know any time you go to the playoffs there are all kinds of teams that are staying at home and I’m proud of our kids,” Johnson said. “They had a great year and this is good for us just moving up. We expected to make it through the playoffs again, but we had a nice year.

“You know, I thought we came out hard. The first half was what I kind of thought it might be. The second half,
Brush just wore us down physically and took some things away from us that we normally get.” 

In the first half, Grand Valley had Brush on edge with its opening threat, finding itself at the Brush 4-yard line on a drive that began at its own 13.

But the Beetdiggers held the Cardinals and managed to re-establish field position late in the first half with a 43-yard punt that landed at Grand Valley’s 1-yard line.

A Beetdigger interception on the ensuing drive set up the only first-half touchdown by either team.

Three sacks, two interceptions and two quarters later, the Cardinals found themselves down 34-0.

But Grand Valley refused to end its season like that.

With seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, junior quarterback Ryan Gallegos led an eight-play, 87-yard drive, with Colton Cowen scoring from 2 yards out.


Bret Leader rushed for 121 yards and two touchdowns for Florence in the 2A playoffs.

The Huskies, long a contender in the Class 3A ranks, held Aspen to 102 yards rushing.

Beau Seguin had a 17-yard interception return for a score and added a 4-yard touchdown run for the Skiers (8-3).

Florence plays at Erie in this weekend’s quarterfinals.


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