Eagles chalk up a 44-20 victory in unscheduled game
By Gary King
The Gilpin Eagle’s Head Coach, Craig Ball had the following comments about the game and why it was arranged in place of the regularly scheduled Vail Christian Game.
“The boys really wanted to play. When we received word that a non-football player (sophomore) student at Vail Christian had tested positive for the virus we were hoping to still get the game in. We learned that without the required contact tracing prior to the game, our game would need to be canceled or postponed. We already had a shortened season due to the lockdown and when we got a chance to play Springfield, our boys were eager to accept the challenge.
I exchanged film with the Springfield head coach at 9 pm the night before the game. I shared the Longhorn film with the team and we had to get ready on the fly. We took advantage of the long drive to make our game plan and we felt we had a good offensive and defensive scheme going into the game. The boys were so excited to play a new team from the South. Springfield is a basic 5-man front power football team similar to what we had seen in our first game against Sargent. We made a few adjustments and added a heavy package. The defense kept the Longhorns from scoring in the 1st quarter, which built our confidence. We shut Springfield out in the 2nd half and that’s when our offense took over the game.
We had been waiting for a breakout of our spread offensive and we watched a real show on Saturday night. We pounded up the middle for over 125 yards and around the end for nearly 300 yards. Our boys executed and took care of the ball. Long drives really put a lot of pressure on the opposing defense and we had 4 long drives for scores in the second half that just broke down the Longhorn Defense. At the lower elevation, our boys felt like they had all the air in the world and it showed. We ran the same play seven times in a row in one scoring drive. That drive really demoralized their defense and team. When you know what play is coming and you can’t do anything about it, that’s real football.”
The game opened with an Eagles 10-yard kickoff return. The Eagles put together a 7-play drive to their own 49-yard line where they were forced to punt on their 4th down. The Eagles held the Longhorns to only 4 plays regaining possession of the ball on a Longhorn failed 4th down run attempt up the middle. The Eagles drive lasted for only 3 plays turning possession back to the Longhorns on a pass interception caught and downed on the Longhorns 17-yard line. Over the next 7 plays the Longhorns were only able to advance the ball 14 yards to their 31-yard line before punting on their 4th down. Upon receiving the Longhorn’s punt the Eagles launched a drive from their own 45-yard line culminating in a 3 yard QB keeper up the middle by Blake Boulter (19) for the first touchdown of the game with 10.4 seconds left on the 1st quarter clock. An Eagle’s 2-point conversion attempt came up short making the score Eagles 6 to the Longhorn’s 0. At the Eagle’s kickoff the Longhorns were stopped on their own 37-yard line as the quarter ended.
The Longhorns began the 2nd quarter with a 57-yard drive ending in a touchdown followed by a failed 2-point conversion attempt tying the score at 6 to 6. The Eagles returned the following Longhorn kickoff to the Eagles 35-yard line and followed up with a 4-play drive that concluded with the Eagles coming up short on a 4th and 1 from their own 44-yard line returning the ball to the Longhorns. On their 1st down after regaining possession the Longhorns attempted a pass that was tipped away from the receiver by the Eagle’s Stephen King (2) and recovered before it touched the ground by Ezra Williams (12) returning possession of the ball to the Eagles. The Eagles seized the advantage by putting together a 10-play 72-yard drive including a 19-yard pass reception by Freshman Trey Lindberg (4) and a 31-yard run by King (2) ending with a touchdown by Boulter (19) on a 4-yard QB keeper. After a failed 2-point conversion attempt the scoreboard showed the Eagles 12 to the Longhorns 6 with 5:33 left on 2nd quarter the clock. The Longhorns received the following kickoff on their 40-yard line with a knee down followed by an 8-play, 60-yard drive for a touchdown but with a failed 2-point conversion attempt again tying the score, this time at 12 to 12 with 2:21 left in the half. Although the Eagles benefited from a Longhorn turnover on a forced fumble and in spite of a 24-yard run by King (2) there was no further scoring before the half-time clock ran out.
To start the 2nd half of the game the Eagles opened with an on-sides kick that was recovered by the Longhorns on their own 48-yard line. After 6 plays and a gain of 32 yards the Longhorns turned the ball back over to the Eagles on a 4th and 1 when they were stopped short on the Eagles 24-yard line. The Eagles retained possession of the football for the next 14 plays and a gain of 76 yards including a notable Lindberg (4) 34-yard pass reception thrown by QB Boulter (19) and a King (2) run to the end zone that was brought back on a blocking penalty. The drive ended with a touchdown on a Boulter (19) 3-yard QB sneak followed by a 2-point conversion by King (2) with a QB keeper up the middle. The score progressed to Eagles 20 to the Longhorn’s 12 with 4:15 left on the 3rd quarter clock. The Longhorns returned the following short kickoff 13 yards to their own 48-yard line. The Longhorns drove the ball to the Eagles 9-yard line in 6 plays before turning possession back to the Eagles on a QB fumble forced by the Eagles Alex Jimenez (33) and recovered by Lindberg (4) on the Eagle’s 15-yard line. The Eagle’s responded with an 85-yard drive in 8 plays including 19-yard and 46-yard runs from the QB position by King (2). The drive was completed with a Boulter (19) QB keeper for 5 yards up the middle for another Eagle’s touchdown followed by a Boulter (19) 2-point conversion up the middle. The resulting score was Eagles 28 to the Longhorns 12. The following Eagle’s kickoff was received deep by the Longhorns and returned to their 42-yard line. The 3rd quarter ended with a 4-yard loss to their 38-yard on the Longhorn’s 1st and 10 play.
In the beginning of the 4th quarter and after their 1st down at the end of the 3rd quarter the Longhorns were held to less than the 14 yards necessary for a 1st down and were forced to punt from their own 40-yard line. The punt was received by King (2) on the Eagles 22-yard line and returned to the 48-yard line but was set back to the 38-yard line on a 10-yard penalty against the Eagles. The Eagles followed up by putting together an impressive 62-yard drive in 4 plays including a 51-yard run from the QB position by King (2) finishing with a Boulter (19) touchdown on a 3-yard QB keeper up the middle and a 2-point conversion also by Boulter (19) on another QB keeper this time to the right of middle. At this point the scoreboard displayed Eagles 36 to the Longhorns 12. The Longhorns returned the subsequent Eagle’s kickoff to the Eagles 42–yard line but turned the ball back over to the Eagles on their 4th play with an incomplete pass attempt failing to gain a 1st and 10 against the Eagles defense. The Eagles controlled the ball for the next 12 plays ending with a touchdown by King (2) on a pitch to the left side. The Eagles added a 2-point conversion with a short pass to the end zone received by Lindberg (4). The new score was 12-44 Eagles. After the Eagles following kickoff the Longhorns constructed an 11-play, 60-yard drive from their own 40-yard line to score the final touchdown and 2-point conversion with 2 seconds on the game clock. The final score was Eagles 44 to the Longhorns 20.
Saturdays win against the Springfield Longhorns brings the Eagles overall record to 1-1 for the season thus far. Some stats of interest from Saturday’s game include 295 rushing yards by King (2) followed by 114 yards by Boulter (19). Total points scored were 34 points by Boulter (19) followed by 8 points by King (2) and 2 points by Lindberg (4). Total tackles (including assists) were 18 tackles by Kamron Brewer (8), followed by 12 tackles by King (2). Following Saturday’s game Stephen King (2) and Blake Boulter (19) are #1 and #4 in the league in rushing and King is #1 in the state in 8-man football.
The Eagles next game is scheduled for Friday, October 23rd at 7:00 PM on the Soroco High School Rams home field in Oak Creek, Colorado.