Devils puts a hurt on Basalt Longhorns, 34-9
Scores of interest
Devils 34, Basalt 9
Steamboat 24, Huskies 14
Brush 54, Glenwood 21
Holy Family 53, Palisade 21
Woodland Park 12, Summit 3
Rifle, Delta and Central, bye
Cedaredge 14, Aspen 12
Coal Ridge 27, Grand Valley 17
Gunnison 49, Moffat 0
Olathe 34, Roaring Fork 6
Saints 48, Nederland 12
R.M Lutheran 33, Pikes Peak 0
Hayden 44, Longmont Chr. 6
Elbert at Justice, Saturday
West Grand Gilpin County, Saturday
BASALT — Riley Rowles did not score a touchdown and everything was just fine for Eagle Valley football on Friday night in a 34-9 thumping of Basalt.
No disrespect is intended toward young master Rowles. It’s just a beautiful thing for Eagle Valley, now 3-0, to have options.
“That’s so huge,” Devils coach John Ramunno said. “We have so many different kids to go to. If one kid’s beat up, we’re still pretty solid.”
One of the reasons Eagle Valley’s completed a terrific nonconference stretch is hard work in the offseason. Ramunno singled out the leadership of his backs for taking the initiative, particularly Jay Neal.
“I was at 45 sessions and Jay made 47,” Ramunno said. “We had 48 open sessions and Jay only missed one.”
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Unfortunately, Neal did not pay Friday against the Longhorns. He hurt his arm while making a tackle against Battle Mountain last week, and Ramunno held him out against Basalt.
But the point remains that the Devils lifted those weights and are starting to see the results on both sides of the ball.
Figuring out to whom to give a game ball on defense on Friday was pretty tough task. Luis Chavez had 21 tackles. That is not a typo. Normally, that would do it for a game ball, but Devin Ward had 10 tackles and three sacks, while Rowles also had 10 and two, respectively. Game balls for all.
And with the Devils defense pitching a shutout for the first half — Ramunno subbed in liberally in the second half after the matter was decided — the offense cranked it up. Buck Ortiz started the parade to the end zone in the first quarter, followed by Cristian Aguilar for a 14-0 lead. Aguilar went to the house three times in all.
The second quarter started with a 65-yard punt return from Mike Ramunno, which obviously made the coach swell with a bit of pride.
“We had the punt return go to our sideline,” the coach said. “We ran a wall and it was set up perfect. Mike made a great catch and it was a great team play. It does your heart good.”
While Eagle Valley specializes in the ground game, there was a bit of diversity with quarterback Harrison Stevens hitting Aguilar for 65 yards and six. The Devils finished the half with a great option pitch from Stevens to Aguilar for nine yards and a score. Kicker Xavier Mendoza was 4-for-5 on extra points.
Eagle Valley opens 3A Slope play with a game at No. 4 Rifle. The Bears had a bye week and just happened to be in the stands in Basalt.
“They’re tough. They’re physical,” Ramunno said. “They run the same offense we do, so the kids should recognize some of the plays from practice. Rifle comes off the ball well and stays on their blocks. They’re well-coached. They’re the real deal.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.