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Eagle Valley football home for Week 4

Saints host Soroco

Eagle Valley is finally home for a football game at John Ramunno Field against Conifer tonight at 7.
Chris Dillmann | Daily file photo

Welcome to the halfway point of the high school football season.

Yes, when we reach the respective halftimes of Conifer at Eagle Valley, Battle Mountain at Roosevelt and Soroco at Vail Christian tonight, the Devils Huskies and Saints will have played have of their regular seasons.

That only Battle Mountain will be playing its fourth game in Week 4 is a minor detail. For the 15,000th time, welcome to sports in the Era of COVID-19.

Devils

In a novel concept, Eagle Valley will play its first home game on Oct. 30 against league opponent Conifer. There is so much about that previous sentence that’s weird.

After seeing their first two games wiped out by a coronavirus quarantine, Eagle Valley finally opened its season with a 35-20 loss at Green Mountain.

While everyone wanted a win, last week was an impressive showing. Only time will tell if Eagle Valley coach Gabe Brown was right in saying that Green Mountain isn’t the No. 8 team in the state — the Rams are up to No. 4 in the rating-percentage index.

But the fact remains that the Devils, in their first game, played a solid football team with two games under its belt and was competitive. Now throw in that Green Mountain beat Conifer, 31-0, in Week 2 and Eagle Valley should be coming tonight as a confident squad.

We will amend this on the Devils’ behalf to confident and humble. Confidence is fine, but avoid the temptation to roll into John Ramunno Field assuming a win.

Task No. 1 tonight is bottling up the Conifer run game. The Lobos have 961 yards of offense in three games, and 850 of those have come on the ground. Conifer’s Noah Wagner (67 carries for 631 yards) is the mark. You gotta wrap up, Eagle Valley.

Huskies

Battle Mountain announced its schedule for 2021. The Huskies will be playing Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Valor Christian.

We’re joking, of course, because that seems like the schedule the Huskies are playing this year. In the chsaanow.com poll, Ralston Valley, Battle Mountain’s Week 1 opponent, is ranked No. 8 in 5A. Palisade (Week 2) is No. 8 in 3A. Evergreen (Week 3) with a 2-1 record was in the top 10. This week, the Huskies go to No. 1-ranked Roosevelt (7 p.m.).

While we subscribe to the “Tough Hooey School of Scheduling” school, we simply bring up Battle Mountain’s schedule to say that the Huskies are a better team than their 0-3 record and being outscored 132-29 indicate.

Since we don’t travel and Battle Mountain is the only local team to play home games to this point, the leap between Weeks 1 and 3 was large. It’s not just that they scored touchdowns against Evergreen and forced turnovers. The Huskies have fight.

And if it’s worth anything, I’m not a huge Roosevelt Roughriders fan. FDR is my favorite Roosevelt, not Teddy.

Saints

A new generation of Saints gets introduced to the Vail Christian-Soroco rivalry at Battle Mountain tonight at 7.

So-called small-school rivalries are the best because it’s usually the same athletes playing each other each season in football, basketball and track. Everyone gets to know everyone, healthy grudges bloom and memorable moments are made.

• 2012: Vail Christian is 4-0 entering the Soroco game at Oak Creek. In those four wins, quarterback Austin Ellsworth has thrown for 16 touchdowns. At Soroco, the Saints shelve the passing game and run Mack Cooper (four touchdowns) for a 26-6 win.

• 2018: Vail Christian 74, Soroco 66. That was a football game with only 11 passes. Vail Christian’s Jack Powers ran 19 times for 150 yards and four touchdowns and was only the “fourth-best” rusher of the night. Vail Christian’s defense held Rams running back Jace Logan to 380 yards of rushing with only eight touchdowns.

Have a fun weekend, everyone.


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