Fehlman leads Palisade ground game in rout of Huskies
With Palisade High School running back Zach Adair still on the sidelines after straining the medial collateral ligament in his right knee during the Bulldogs’ season opener against Woodland Park, Travis Fehlman spent the week preparing as if he were going to get another chance Thursday.
“Yeah, I knew I was going to get the ball a lot,” the senior running back said.
Fehlman took full advantage.
Getting the bulk of the carries through the first series of the third quarter, Fehlman rushed 18 times for 143 yards and three touchdowns as the Bulldogs (3-0) got their Western Slope Conference season off to a solid start with a 43-0 victory over Battle Mountain.
“Whenever I get the chance, I run the ball when I can,” Fehlman said, knowing full well there’s a stable of running backs behind him.
It wasn’t anything Fehlman wasn’t prepared for, even with a shortened practice week.
“We’ve done it so many times over and over,” Fehlman said of Palisade’s power offense — run between the tackles, grind out yardage, use up the clock.
“It’s just how our system works, how we do what we do,” Fehlman said.
Battle Mountain, which lost 51-7 to Summit in its opener last week, suited up only 26 players, only four of them seniors, and lost wide receiver Pancho Meneses to what appeared to be a concussion in the second quarter.
Meneses left the field on a stretcher with his head and neck stabilized but was reported to be alert and in good condition after the game.
Palisade scored on its first four possessions, Fehlman getting the honors on the last two.
When Palisade scored on its first drive of the second half to lead 43-0, the running clock came in effect. That’s when Bulldogs coach John Arledge began going deep to his bench to give his second-teamers some quality playing time.
“There’s a huge improvement from week one to week two to week three,” Arledge said.
The Thursday game gave Palisade three games in the book before most teams had played two.
The only downside to the Bulldogs’ victory was nine penalties for 65 yards, many of those coming on special teams.
“We were trying to make some good blocks,” Arledge said. “You’re going to get some clips, but I like that we’re aggressive.”
Adair is expected back in the lineup next week, giving Palisade a full complement of backs when it travels to Eagle Valley.
Fehlman still expects to get the ball a few times.
“I always feel good to go,” he said.