Hannigan’s big ground game lifts Palisade past Glenwood
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — So much for Dalton Hannigan’s bad start.
The pint-sized Palisade High School running back more than made up for a lost fumble on the Bulldogs’ opening offensive play against Glenwood Springs, running for 159 yards and a pair of touchdowns in third-ranked Palisade’s 33-7 win in the Class 3A Western Slope Conference opener for both teams.
“I think the biggest thing for him was coming back after he fumbled the ball in that first series,” Palisade coach John Arledge said. “I thought for him to forget that and play tough the way he did really carried over for everyone.”
It just kept carrying over for the Bulldogs (1-0 WSC, 2-0 overall), whose 278 rushing yards overpowered the much younger Demons (0-1, 0-2). What’s more, Palisade’s defense limited Glenwood to only 103 yards of offense in the first half to help the Bulldogs jump to a 20-0 halftime lead.
“All week long our coaches have been talking to us about how tough of a place this is to play,” said Hannigan, who rushed for 132 yards in the Bulldogs’ season-opening win against Central. “This was a great learning experience for us to help us get ready for the rest of the season.”
Palisade quarterback Luke McLean completed 10 of 11 passes for 115 yards and a first-quarter touchdown toss to Levi Hoaglund, and Caden Woods added 48 rushing yards for the Bulldogs.
Travis Lundin completed 22 of 35 passes for 173 yards and a pair of interceptions. The Demons had four turnovers, and their offense couldn’t get into a groove until halfway through the second half.
“In the first series when the offense couldn’t produce, that was a missed opportunity,” said Glenwood coach Rocky Whitworth, speaking of the four-and-out series Glenwood had after Josh McKee recovered Hannigan’s fumble. “That was the difference early in the game. Momentum switched immediately. We just couldn’t take advantage.”
Glenwood got the ball on the Palisade 23 only 10 seconds into the game but was stalled on the Bulldogs’ 15. Palisade took advantage of three Glenwood penalties on the Demons’ next series, setting up the first big run of the night for Hannigan: a 34-yard run set up a 15-yard scoring pass from McLean to Hoaglund on the next play for a 7-0 lead.
Hannigan added a 31-yard jaunt to the end zone, and McLean’s 16-yard, north-south scramble to paydirt put the Bulldogs up 20-0 with 4:14 remaining before halftime.
On the Bulldogs’ opening drive of the second half, McLean scrambled left, cut through a seam and ran 42 yards to the Demons’ 3. Woods ran it in on the next play for a 26-0 lead.