A week ago, Cedaredge and Grand Valley shared the cellar in 1A WSL standings. Both came into last Thursday's prep football game in Cedaredge with identical 0-3 league marks and 2-5 overall.
Both teams would be without their regular starting quarterback. Cedaredge lost junior Jared Reynolds to a broken thumb and the Cardinals lost senior Jeff Holbrook to rib injuries prior to last Thursday's game in Cedaredge.
On paper the contest would be a draw, and it certainly proved to be so in a 9-6 Cedaredge victory.
Grand Valley won the pre-game toss and deferred to the second half.
Cedaredge took the ball to begin the game. Each team would have the ball three times in the first quarter with defense dominating play.
Cedaredge's first possession was marred by a chop block negating a fair gain and placing the ball on the Bruins' 15-yard line. A pass, from Pedro Madaleno to Craig Claunch, moved the ball to Cedaredge's 22. Two plays later the Bruins were punting. On the snap, the ball sailed over punter Ryan Imhoff's head and came to rest at the eight where Grand Valley took over.
On Grand Valley's first play, a run by the Cardinal's Jaden Jordan resulted in a fumble with the Bruins' Ty Grant falling on the ball and putting Cedaredge on offense at the Bruins' 10-yard line.
Cedaredge was successful in moving the ball from the Bruins' 10 to the 41. A blind-side block by the Bruins moved the ball back to the 34. A seven-yard loss by Madaleno forced a Bruin punt.
Grand Valley took over on Cedaredge's 45-yard line following the punt from Imhoff.
Grand Valley did not keep the ball long as Grant intercepted a Sammy Gomez pass early in the possession giving the Bruins their next possession near mid-field. A three-and-out gave the ball back to the Cardinals as the quarter was winding down.
Starting at its own 42, Grand Valley used two plays before the first quarter came to an end with a 0-0 score.
Grand Valley continued its drive in the second quarter with eight more plays needed to cross the goal line.
A 36-yard pass play from Gomez to Levi Nolan covered the final chunk of real estate and six points for the Cardinals.
A two-point conversion attempt failed and Grand Valley had a 6-0 lead with 7:14 left in the first half.
Cedaredge had three more possessions before halftime and did not score. The Cardinals had two possessions without scoring to leave the score at 6-0 at the break.
In second half play, Cedaredge used a Toby Waddell safety to narrow the Cardinal's lead to 6-2.
Later in the half, Drew Markley caught a Madaleno pass for a touchdown to jump the Bruins out to an 8-6 lead. Brody Wagner's PAT kick made the score 9-6 and that's the way the game ended.
The mostly defensive game limited the Bruins to just 163 yards of total offense. Madaleno's six for 11 passing generated 78 yards, with Markley's 35 yards received on three passes leading the Bruins' receiving corps. Markley accounted for Cedaredge's only touchdown.
Claunch had 28 yards on three catches and Imhoff caught one pass for 15 yards.
Cedaredge's ground game produced 85 yards on 31 rushes. Grant ran the ball 15 times for 82 yards with Claunch picking up 25 yards on five carries. Madaleno ran the ball 11 times and finished with minus 22 yards.
Defensively the Bruins got 10 tackles from Grant with Claunch and Josh Jenkins adding seven tackles each. Waddell added his support with six tackles.
AJ Robidoux had a 12-yard sack in the game and Grant finished with an interception and a fumble recovery for the Bruins.
Meeker, with its big win over Paonia, leads the 1A WSL standings with a 4-0 league mark and 8-0 overall. The Cowboys are ranked second in Class 1A standings.
Paonia is second in the league (11th in state) at 3-1 and 6-2 overall followed by Hotchkiss (2-2, 4-3), Olathe (2-2, 4-4), Cedaredge (1-3, 3-5) and Grand Valley (0-4, 2-6).
Cedaredge is hosting Hotchkiss this Friday at 7 p.m. The contest is the final regular season game for each school.