The fall sports season is drawing to a close with only Basalt Football and Aspen Spirit still having events on their calendars.
The Basalt Longhorns face their toughest challenge this weekend in the state quarterfinals against defending champion Eaton after confirming a 45-24 home win over Woodland Park on their own turf last Saturday.
The Longhorns were never behind, with a key defense in the second quarter to put a 10-point lead at halftime. Their first-team defense didn’t allow a touchdown for the last eight minutes of the second quarter and throughout the third quarter and fourth quarter before the second team took over.
Offensively, senior quarterback Kade Schneider aired just a yard behind 300 and completed 20 of 27 passes with two touchdowns. The Longhorns used extended passing to show their balanced offense and make it harder for subsequent opponents – like Eaton – to develop a game plan against them.
Senior Dylan Madden was the main recipient of the passing game priority, catching 10 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown. Fellow senior Luke Rapoport also caught a TD pass.
Schneider added a rushing touchdown, as did junior Noah Johnston; Senior Cooper Crawford had two.
Johnston led the team with a total of 18 tackles, including 11 solo. Senior Ben Limongelli had nine tackles, forced two fumbles and recovered one.
As the #7 seed, Basalt knocked off the #10 Panthers. Your reward is to travel east to take on the two-time defending champions. An upset there would see the Longhorns home for the semifinals against either No. 14 Rifle or No. 11 Montezuma-Cortez.
Elsewhere on the gridiron, Glenwood Springs entered their last regular season game on Friday to earn a needed win at Palisade as the Demons sat 16th on the Seeding Index, their last playoff spot in 3A. They fell 42-8 to the Bulldogs, falling down from a playoff spot. With CHSAA’s official seeding index hidden after the season is over, it’s unknown where they ended up in the rankings. According to RPI, Glenwood was ranked 22nd in the CHSAA rankings.
The Demons finished their first season under Tory Jenson 5-5 and a 2-3 league record. Roaring Fork and Aspen each failed to qualify for the playoffs.
The Valley’s local teams who advanced to Regionals all said goodbye before reaching the final state bracket.
In 3A, Aspen and Roaring Fork each clinched a win against a higher-seeded opponent, but fell to their regional hosts. No. 33 Aspen defeated No. 21 Bennett 3-1 but was swept by host Faith Lutheran. No. 26 Roaring Fork lost 3-0 to host No. 11 Resurrection Christian before sweeping No. 14 The Vanguard School.
The Skiers finished the year 11-11 and went 3-4 in the league. The Rams went 15-10 and 4-3 in the Western Slope League.
In 4A, Glenwood Springs entered the Regionals at number 22 as a middle seed. They were upset at No. 34 Riverdale Ridge 3-1 before being swept by host No. 3 Windsor.
The Demons went 15-10 with a 4-6 league record.
Roaring Fork’s state title defense ended in the quarterfinals as the No. 5 fell 3-0 to No. 4 Liberty Common in a game played at Fossil Ridge on Saturday.
The Eagles scored once in the first half and twice in the second to drive the final nail into the Rams’ coffin. According to MaxPreps, the elder goalie made seven saves and allowed two goals in his 78 minutes played.
Roaring Fork previously fell 6-1 to Liberty Common on September 17 in Carbondale.
The Rams finished 15-3 overall and went 7-1 in league play. Coal Ridge, the league champion and the only team to defeat Roaring Fork in league play, remains the No. 3 seed in the playoffs.
Looking for a repeat of their 2021 3A Pom State Championship, the Aspen dance team is looking for more hardware at Friday and Saturday’s Ghost State Championships in Denver. The championships will be held at the National Western Complex and the Denver Coliseum.