Palisade escapes with win over Glenwood
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Two solid drives got the Glenwood Springs High School football team back in the game against Palisade on Friday night.
One final drive clinched the game for the second-ranked Bulldogs at Stubler Memorial Field.
Spencer Jackson’s 25-yard field goal with 36 seconds remaining capped an 11-play, 62-yard drive in Palisade’s 31-21 victory in the Class 3A Western Slope Conference opener.
“It’s tough to win here,” Palisade coach John Arledge said. “It’s not a little tough. It’s a lot tough. We did a great job jumping out on them, and their defense bucked up and made us punt a lot.
“They’re a lot better than their record shows. They lost to two (bigger schools, Class 5A Fruita Monument and 4A Montrose), and I don’t think that a lot of people understand that.”
The Bulldogs (4-0, 1-0 WSC) had quite a bit of trouble with Glenwood (1-3, 0-1). Palisade finished with 213 rushing yards on 51 carries — 319 total yards for the game — but lost two of its six fumbles and was limited to 121 rushing yards through the first three quarters.
“Last year we lost to them by a point, and it kind of ruined our season,” said senior running back JT Townsend, who rushed for 34 of his team-high 56 yards in the fourth quarter. “This is such a huge win for us. This is such a hard place to play, and they fight hard no matter what their record is.”
Daniel Salazar took over for starting quarterback Luke McLean, who left the position early in the second quarter but continued to play strong safety on defense.
Alredge said an injury to McLean’s right hand had the coaches concerned he wouldn’t be able to handle snaps cleanly.
Senior running back Henry Hill finished with 105 rushing yards on 25 carries for the Demons, and his 21-yard jaunt into the end zone brought Glenwood within 28-14 at halftime and seemed to ignite the Demons’ offense. Jon Forristall finished 12 for 30 passing for 125 yards, and his 1-yard sneak for a TD at the end of the third quarter pulled Glenwood within 28-21.
“We just weren’t executing,” Glenwood linebacker Rigo Garcia said. “Once we put some points on the board, we woke up and finally said we have to do what the coaches are coaching us to do.”
The Demons got on the board first, taking advantage of a fumbled punt recovered by Andy Carbajal at Palisade’s 22 with a 4-yard TD run by Hill with 8:16 on the clock in the first quarter.
Palisade answered four plays later when Caden Woods rumbled 56 yards to the end zone on a screen pass from McLean to give the Bulldogs a 7-6 lead after Spencer Jackson’s point-after kick.
It was the first of four straight touchdowns for Palisade, which went up 28-6 at the 9:57 mark of the second quarter when Salazar rumbled 8 yards into the end zone.
Glenwood answered with Hill’s touchdown and Forristall’s sneak to come within a touchdown, then had the ball on its own 49 with 6:26 left.
Palisade’s defense held, however, and the Bulldogs put together their decisive drive to set up Jackson’s game-winning kick.