Glenwood Springs’ defense too much for Englewood in 3A football playoffs
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Glenwood Springs High School’s football team had no trouble scoring during its Class 3A first-round playoff game Saturday against Englewood. The Demons’ defense set the tone for that to happen.
Glenwood recovered five fumbles and forced six turnovers, effectively stuffed the Pirates’ usually potent running game and took advantage of all of its early scoring opportunities. All of that led to a 42-0 victory at Stubler Memorial Field.
“We haven’t had a game like that all year,” Demons coach Rocky Whitworth said. “It’s great that we have a game where we execute and play well on both sides of the ball and on special teams. We just hit on most cylinders today.”
No doubt, there wasn’t much the Demons (10-1) did wrong against Englewood (8-3). Their defense forced turnovers that netted the offense good field position and the Glenwood offense took advantage each time. The Demons held a 35-0 halftime edge and had limited Englewood to 1 rushing yard on 21 carries in the first half.
Glenwood outgained Englewood 264-144 and limited the Pirates to only 41 yards of offense in the first half.
“Our coaches kept telling us that we needed to execute and have that perfect game,” Glenwood linebacker Chad Montover said. “Today, we had that perfect game.”
The victory moved the Demons into the state quarterfinals against Lewis Palmer, an 18-15 winner over Centaurus. The game will be played in Monument, just north of Colorado Springs, with the date and time to be set Monday.
Kevin Matthews, Englewood’s featured running back who came into the game with 1,754 yards and 18 TDs, was limited to 67 yards on 27 carries. Much of that came in the fourth quarter with the game well in hand. He had only 3 yards on 17 carries in the first half.
Glenwood linebacker Nick Ciani recovered a fumble by Matthews on the Pirates’ first play from scrimmage. The Demons took over at Englewood’s 26 and took the lead for good five plays later on a 1-yard run by Drew Halsch, who finished with 99 yards on 11 carries.
Englewood was forced to punt on its next possession, but Aaron Embertson fumbled the snap before Glenwood’s Chris Ayala recovered the ball at Englewood’s 20. Montover rumbled into the end zone from 5 yards out two plays later, giving the Demons a 14-0 lead after JD Weeden’s point-after kick.
“We told ourselves (before the game) we couldn’t turn the ball over if we wanted to keep the game close,” Englewood coach Jay Graves said.
“We figured with that and getting a turnover or two from them, we’d be able to keep it close. You know, typical football,” Ciani said. “But it kind of went the other way on us, and the game didn’t go well.”
An interception by Weeden on Englewood’s first possession of the third quarter set Glenwood up at the Pirates’ 17. Halsch’s 13-yard jaunt into the end zone three plays later started the running clock with 7:50 left in the quarter.
“We really wanted to come out intense, and that’s what we did,” Ciani said. “Everybody played great.”