Palisade bounces Eagle Valley, 58-23
Vail, CO Colorado
GRAND JUNCTION ” Before the start of the season Eagle Valley fans had circled Thursday’s game with Palisade as the conference championship game.
Glenwood Springs made that point mute weeks ago.
Palisade, with a playoff spot already secured, smothered the Devils faint postseason hopes by running Eagle Valley into the ground.
The Devils absorbed a 58-23 drubbing by the Bulldogs in a game that was more lopsided than the scoreboard indicated.
Call it a full moon. Call it bad karma. But, somehow Eagle Valley seemed to know it just wasn’t going to be their night.
The Devils were without their head coach John Ramunno, who was called away from the team due to the death of his mother earlier this week.
You can’t blame Ramunno, but it seemed like a lot of Eagle Valley’s crispness was also absent.
Two out of the Devils three offensive series in the first quarter ended on turnovers. Palisade scored touchdowns on both.
Tailback Zach Adair scored on a 19-yard run three plays after Bulldog defensive back Billy Logsdon intercepted quarterback Hunter Blevins’ third down pass at Eagle Valley’s 37. Adair scored again on a 31-yard dash to culminate a nine-play, 69-yard drive that began when lineman Cody Ciotti recovered a Nick Whitehead fumble inside the Palisade red zone.
Adair scored twice more in the first half after taking a 14-0 lead. The Bulldogs’ junior ended the game with a game-high 117 yards in 12 carries. All of his yardage came in the first half where Palisade had taken a 37-8.
Although he looked like Superman, Adair displayed a dab of vulnerability midway in the second quarter.
Holding a 22-0 lead at that point, Adair dropped the ball after losing 16 yards on a second down play at the Bulldogs’ 32 where the Devils Robert Padgett lurked nearby.
Seeing the loose ball, Padgett scooped up the miscue, then zipped the remaining 22 yards for the Devils only score of the first half.
Offensively Eagle Valley ended the half with a net of nine total yards.
And things didn’t get much better for the Devils when they came out of the locker room for the third quarter.
Palisade scored three times in the period. Aaron Wagler, the Bulldogs other starting running back, joined Adair on the bench after poking home a 1-yard touchdown two minutes after the kickoff.
Palisade subs Travis Fehlman and Jesse Brennan rose the lead to 58-8 with 1:28 left in the quarter on touchdown runs of 7 and 30 yards. Playing against the Bulldogs’ second-stringers Eagle Valley made the score respectable on touchdowns of 1 yard by John Crawford and 12 by Whitehead in the fourth quarter.
With the loss, Eagle Valley finished the season at 4-4 in the 4A Western Slope and 6-4 overall.