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Durango football advances to semis

Demons down George Washington in quarterfinals, 56-28
Julian Rodriguez of Durango High School celebrates his interception on Saturday while playing George Washington High School in the 3A state playoffs at DHS. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

The No. 2 seeded Durango High School put together lots of big plays on offense to take down No. 10 George Washington High School on Saturday at DHS, 56-28, in the class 3A quarterfinals.

“The kids played tough,” said DHS head coach Todd Casebier. “We get seven more days together. That’s the goal this time of the year and we got it.”

Durango will next host Lutheran in the semifinals at 1 p.m. Saturday at DHS.

The game was close early. Zach Haber scored on a 3-yard run, after Tagert Bardin returned a punt into George Washington’s red zone, to put DHS up 7-0.

On Durango’s next possession, Jeric Baruch busted free for a 50-yard run, but George Washington was able to strip the ball from him just before he reached the end zone.

Marcellus Honeycutt then caught his first of two touchdowns from Gabe Smith to tie the game, 7-7.

Baruch busted free again early in the second quarter and made sure no one caught him on a 34-yard touchdown run.

After Honeycutt’s second touchdown, Haber had a big 30-yard run and then Jaxen Fancher scored on an 18-yard run to put DHS up, 21-14. George Washington stayed close, but DHS never relinquished the lead again.

Tyler Harms threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to Fancher. Julian Rodriguez then intercepted a GW pass.

Harms completed a 49-yard pass to Luke Wesley on the ensuing drive. A few plays later, Baruch scored on a 3-yard run with 2:16 remaining in the half.

George Washington, however, responded and was able to score a touchdown as time expired to go into halftime only trailing DHS 35-21.

DHS overcame a hold, an off sides and a personal foul on its first drive of the second half, and Haber eventually scored on an 8-yard rush.

“We made some basic mistakes on offense, which is obviously something we need to clean up,” Casebier said. “When we line up and do what we’re supposed to do on offense, they can’t stop us.”

George Washington scored next to cut Durango’s lead to 42-28, but DHS scored the last two touchdowns of the game. First, Haber broke free for a 56-yard rushing touchdown on the third play of the fourth quarter.

Then, after big runs from Baruch and Haber, Fancher scored on a 1-yard rush.

Julian Rodriguez and Baruch also intercepted passes for DHS while Miguel Garcia Rodriguez made multiple tackles in the backfield.

In Class 2A, Montezuma-Cortez fell to Eaton on the semifinals on Saturday, 47-8.

Dove Creek, meanwhile, beat Mancos in the 8-man semifinals, 44-14.

See Wednesday’s edition of The Durango Herald for more.

Durango High School plays tough defense against George Washington High School in the 3A state playoffs at DHS on Saturday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)
Durango High School head football coach Todd Casebier celebrates a touchdown against George Washington High School during the the 3A state playoffs at DHS on Saturday (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)
Miguel Garcia Rodriquez of Durango High School make a flying tackle on Saturday while playing George Washington High School in the 3A state playoffs at DHS. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)
Tagert Bardin of Durango High School makes a catch on Saturday while playing George Washington High School in the 3A state playoffs at DHS. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)
Jaxen Fancher of Durango High School goes in for a tackle on Saturday while playing George Washington High School in the 3A state playoffs at DHS. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)
Luke Wesley of Durango High School brings in a pass on Saturday while playing George Washington High School in the 3A state playoffs at DHS. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)
Luke Wesley of Durango High School brings in a pass on Saturday while playing George Washington High School in the 3A state playoffs at DHS. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)
Luke Wesley of Durango High School brings in a pass on Saturday while playing George Washington High School in the 3A state playoffs at DHS. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)
Zach Haber of Durango High School scores one of his three touchdowns on Saturday while playing George Washington High School in the 3A state playoffs at DHS. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)
Brady Hansen of Durango High School goes for a loose ball that George Washington High School fumbled in the 3A state playoffs at DHS. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)
Zach Haber of Durango High School finds some room to run on Saturday while playing George Washington High School in the 3A state playoffs at DHS. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)