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Gilpin Eagles kickoff football season

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Against the Sargent High School Farmers

By Gary King

The Gilpin Eagles football team played its first game during the Colorado lockdown. The Eagles will play six games in the regular season. Due to the shortened season, the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) planned and scheduled games for each school throughout the state of Colorado. Gilpin drew the #9 ranked Sargent for game one.

After winning the toss, the Eagles received the opening kickoff. The Farmers presented only onside or short kicks throughout the game. The short kick was caught by the Eagle’s Ezra Williams (12) on the Eagle’s 39-yard line and returned to the 41 yard-line for a 2-yard gain. The Eagles held the ball for 8 downs including 1 first and ten and a total of 18 yards but turned the ball over on a 4th and 12 with an incomplete pass.  The Farmers put together an 8-play, 51-yard drive for the first touchdown of the game followed by a 2-point conversion making the score Eagles 0 to the Farmers 8 with 5:27 left in the first quarter. After another Farmer short kick and starting from their own 40-yard line, the Eagles built a 9-play, 57-yard drive to the Farmer’s 3-yard line. The drive included 2 first downs, a 22-yard carry by King (2) and 4 downs within 5-yards of the Farmers goal line and ended with an Eagle’s blocked field goal attempt. The Farmers took possession of the ball on the Eagle’s 7-yard line and progressed 37 yards in 5 plays before turning the ball back over to the Eagles on a fumbled pitch that was recovered by Blake Boulter (19) of the Eagles. After gaining 15 yards in 2 plays the Eagles ended the quarter by turning the ball over to the Farmers on an intercepted pass attempt.

The second quarter started with a Farmer 19-yard drive in 6 plays that ended with a fumble that was again recovered by Boulter (19) for a turnover to the Eagles. Starting at the 46-yard line the Eagles held the ball for next 11 downs. However, due to two 15-yard penalties the overall drive lost 2 yards. The Eagles were forced to punt on a 4th down only to have the punter loose the ball on a bad snap and recover it turning the ball over to the Farmers on the Eagle’s 32-yard line. The Farmers proceeded to score again in 3 plays. The Farmer’s extra point attempt was stopped with a QB sack as a result of an Eagle’s blitz making the score 14 to 0 in the Farmers favor. The Eagle’s Kamron Brewer (8) received the subsequent kickoff and returned the ball 9 yards to the Eagle’s 47-yard line. The Eagles put together 49-yard drive over 11 downs to reach the Farmer’s 4-yard line again putting the Eagles within conspicuous striking distance of the Farmer’s end zone. On a 4th down and 1 yard to go for a 1st down from the Farmer’s 4-yard line, the Eagles came up inches short ending the drive by turning the ball over to the Farmers on about the Farmers 3-yard line. The Farmers ended the half with a 5 down drive to the Eagles 34-yard line.

The second half of the game began with an Eagles kickoff to the Farmers and a Farmers return of 22 yards to their own 34-yard line. The Farmers proceeded to drive 33 yards in 12 plays but returned possession of the ball to the Eagles on a 4th and 3 where they lost 2 yards on an Eagle’s blitz. The Eagles took possession on their own 15-yard line and held the ball for 4 downs. On 4th down and 4 yards to a first down the Eagles punted from their own 21-yard line. The punt went out of bounds on the Farmer’s 40-yard line where the Farmers started an 8 down drive for 46 yards to the Eagles 14-yard line where the period ended with neither team scoring during the 3rd quarter.

The Farmers began the 4th quarter by continuing their 3rd quarter drive for another 8 yards over 6 downs to the Eagles 3-yard line. On a 2nd and goal to go, the Farmers fumbled a pitch to the right side that was again recovered by the Eagle’s Boulter (19) delivering the Eagles possession on their own 10-yard line. On their 3rd play and following an 18-yard run by Boulter (19) for a 1st and 10, the Eagles fumbled the ball allowing the Farmers to retake possession on the Eagle’s 25-yard line. The Farmers controlled the ball for the following 9 plays and a gain of 24 yards to the Eagle’s 1-yard line. On a 2nd and goal the Farmers QB fumbled the ball on the snap allowing Cole Tuttle (45) to claim possession for the Eagles. The Eagles were able to keep possession for only 2 plays on the second of which the Farmers intercepted a pass to retake control on the Eagle’s 14-yard line. It took the Farmers 4 plays in which to score another touchdown on a QB keeper from the Eagle’s 2-yard line. The Farmers followed with a 2-point conversion on a short pass into the end zone making the score 22 Farmers to the Eagle’s 0 with 3:24 left on the clock. On the following kickoff the Farmers presented another short kick that was caught by the Eagle’s Ezra Williams (12) on the Eagle’s 46-yard line where he was tackled. On the 3rd down following King (2) took the snap at QB and ran a sweep to the left side for a 49-yard touchdown for the Eagles. Boulter (19) followed up with a 2-point conversion via a QB sneak bringing the score to Farmers 22 to the Eagles 8. With only 2:24 left on the clock the Eagles attempted an on-sides kick, but it was caught and downed by the Farmers on their own 47-yard line. Over the next 4 plays the Farmers gained 7 yards and obtained a 1st and 10 on an off-sides call on the Eagles. The Farmers then took a knee for each of the final 4 plays of the game. The final score was Eagles 8 to the Farmers 22.

Gilpin’s Head Coach, Coach Ball said that the Gilpin offense missed some scoring opportunities in the first quarter of Friday’s football game under the lights here in Gilpin County. The weather and setting were perfect for a high school football game. This year the team has some size. Four players over 200 pounds is a first for the team in recent memory. “We have some size this year but we are young on the line,” said Coach Ball. The Sargent defense lined up with a deep safety to start the game, but with strong line play, the Gilpin offense was hard to stop up the middle. By the second quarter, Sargent had moved their safety up to play the run, opening up down the field options. Unfortunately, when the downfield routes opened up, the team was unable to connect. The offense finally scored against Sargent in the 4th quarter, with a 49-yard sweep play to Stephen King around the left side.

Gilpin’s defense played well, keeping the powerful Sargent offense to just 14 points in the first half. The defense came out strong in the second half and held Sargent scoreless in the 3rd. The defense caused 3 fumbles and Blake Boulter recovered all three of them. Gilpin held on two goal line stands in the second half to keep the game close. “The D was really flying around out there tonight and we caused turnovers that kept us in the game” said Coach Ball.

The next Gilpin Eagles game is scheduled for Friday, the 16th of October against the Vail Christian Saints. The game is to take place at Battle Mountain High School in Edwards, Colorado beginning at 7:00 pm.

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