EDWARDS — Too many turnovers. It’s just that simple.
Battle Mountain football coughed up the ball eight times in a 46-6 loss to Montezuma-Cortez on Friday night in Edwards.
On the positive side of the ledger, the Huskies got their first points of the season after being blanked in their first two games.
Battle Mountain’s Chase Keep split the uprights on a 33-yard field goal with 19.4 seconds remaining in the half and the Huskies fans celebrated like the Broncos had won the Super Bowl.
For a team in a tough situation like the Huskies, these are big things, although they don’t register in win-loss column. To set up the field goal, Battle Mountain had a 16-play drive, easily their best of the season. Quarterback Demetrius Parrish hooked up with Cas Sheridan for a 20-yard gain, and the team’s first first down of the game.
After some hard running from Parrish and Jack Harty, Parrish found Keep for a 14-yard completion. The Huskies had four first downs on the march, a distinct improvement after having just two all game last week against Summit County.
The Huskies fumbled on their second play of the game, setting up the Panthers’ first score, a 15-yard strike from Cortez quarterback Jonathon Walck to David Skaggs. Battle Mountain’s defense did a nice job of stemming the Cortez tide on its next two possessions. Keep and Sheridan each had interceptions. However, the Panthers made it 12-0 on a 73-yard rumble by Randy Hayley.
In the second quarter, the Battle Mountain defense recorded another stop, but the Huskies muffed a punt, giving the Panthers’ excellent field position. Cortez’s Walck called his own number from 6 yards out for a score. A Skaggs interception on the Huskies’ next possession turned into a Cortez score quickly as Walck found Ryan Gurney on a 43-yard screen pass.
Gurney capitalized on a line-drive punt in the third quarter, giving Cortez the ball on the Huskies’ 6. Walck was in the house one play later.
Battle Mountain’s defensive lineman Misael Almanza chipped in a big play late in the third quarter with a fumble recovery. The Huskies got the ball on the Panthers’ 11. Cortez’s defense pushed Battle Mountain back, but Keep has a pretty good leg. He knocked a 39-yard field goal through to cut the Cortez lead to 30-6.
Unfortunately, the road does get a bit tougher for the Huskies (0-3). Battle Mountain has a bye this week. Two weeks from today, the Huskies are at Stocker Stadium to face Palisade before returning for Homecoming against Rifle.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.