Thursday, October 9, 2003
A season full of promise has turned into another season of bad breaks and close calls for the Glenwood Springs football team. But coach Craig Denney, a polite and well-spoken teacher, said he remains positive.
Glenwood lost two nonleague games by a combined 10 points and was even with Moffat County through three quarters before losing 28-7 in September.
Glenwood was up on Palisade 13-0 after one quarter last week before starting quarterback Chris Toler blew out his knee in the second quarter. The Demons lost the game 52-21 and lost Toler for the season.
"It's completely frustrating," Denney said. "We're so close. We're just waiting. It's going to take one of those special games where you get all the breaks."
Steamboat Springs hopes Glenwood's special game doesn't come tonight when the two open the final half of the league schedule. Sailors coach Mark Drake has been though seasons comparable to Denney's, where injuries and missed opportunities turn near wins into repeated defeats.
"That's happened many times, and it is frustrating," Drake said.
While Denney has all the confidence in his backup quarterback, sophomore Eric Lundin, what the Demons lost with Toler was an athlete capable of making plays happen outside the pocket.
"It's been hard to get kids motivated," Denney said. "You just hope to do your best and hope the kids decide we need to play some hard football."
The Sailors can ill afford to overlook the Demons. Steamboat, at 2-1, remains tied for second in league standings and needs a win tonight to keep pace with Rifle and Palisade. All three are chasing Moffat County.
"This is a scary game," Drake said. "We talked to the team on Wednesday about recommitting themselves to things and not getting lethargic thinking wins are just going to happen. We've got to bring our 'A' game every week now. The are all going to be tougher than heck, and every team can beat you."
The Demons will outsize the Sailors up front tonight, and will feature talented running back Matt Wilson, who averaged 7.7 yards a carry against a Palisade defense that is formidable against the run.
The Sailors will counter with a passing game that Drake admitted would be a headache to have to prepare for. Denney confirmed it hasn't been fun.
"You break down film and basically look for the three or four primary plays they run out of each formation and focus on those," the Glenwood coach said. "You do the best you can. We run a lot of double tight-double wing and I'm sure they've picked out what we do best and will try to defend that."
Kickoff between Steamboat and Glenwood is at 7 tonight in Glenwood Springs.