Devils Extra: More on Eagle Valley’s win | VailDaily.com

Devils Extra: More on Eagle Valley’s win

This is really more like it.

And with that, we open up Devils Extra for 2012.

If there are still a few of you down Gypsum way that think I’m the great Satan because I covered Battle Mountain for years, Friday night’s game – a 35-21 Eagle Valley win over Steamboat Springs – was a very comfortable feeling for me, believe it or not.

I am used to going to Gypsum for football and seeing the home team win. These previous three years were an aberration in the 15-plus years I’ve been working for the Vail Daily. Normality seems to be returning as the Devils have started the season 2-0.

Now we get some comments from coach John Ramunno and the happy Devils as well as some extra thoughts:

• “Anytime you get a league win, you gotta love it,” Ramunno said. “On your home field, it’s a good feeling. The first half was real crisp. That’s a good quarterback, (Steamboat’s Christian) Ramirez. You’ve got to give him credit. He put the ball right where he had to a lot of times. His receivers ran good routes. It shows us that we’re going to have to get better in pass coverage and get a better pass rush. I thought we had a good pass rush early in the game.”

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We’ll get to more on Ramirez, but, first, the coach is doubtless happy that the Devils have doubled their win total of last year already. And the coach always wants to beat Steamboat because the Ramunno family’s roots are up in Ski Town USA. John’s dad, Carl, was an institution up there.

• Eagle Valley’s student body did itself proud, cheering on the Devils and forming a tunnel through which all the players went after the victory.

“That’s a blast,” senior lineman Ty Framboise said.

• There’s a quiet confidence running through the Devils’ camp. It is early, but after four wins in the last three seasons, those in Eagle Valley black think that the program is turning the corner.

“We’re definitely turning things around at Eagle Valley,” senior Cole Nielsen said. “It’s just working way harder and staying positive throughout the game and not giving up.”

• The offense definitely looks like Eagle Valley of old. So before we even mention running backs, let’s single out the line – Andy Armstrong, Joe Felix, Roberto Cortez, Tanner Harris, Framboise Joey Sanchez, Sam Boyd and Ayren Hart. Rick Ramunno, Nielsen and Jay Dostal ran well Friday night, but don’t do so without the big guys.

• Interesting note on the running game Friday night: “They kind of took away our outside stuff tonight,” John Ramunno said. “They were playing an outside backer and stunting a guy, so I couldn’t get Zeke (Sandoval) to the outside. They stuffed that a couple of times. Boy, they were asking us to run off-tackle, and we’re kind of built for that.”

• A bit of bad news: Cornerback Thomas Mills broke his left arm in the second quarter.

“It hurt losing him,” Framboise said. “He’s a great player, Thomas, but we started playing the game for him. It gave us extra motivation.”

• Something to file away: Devils quarterback Jordon Hudspeth has a good arm. He’ll come in handy as the season goes on.

• Play of the game: In the fourth quarter, the Devils had a fourth-and-1 on the Steamboat 39. The ball went to Nielsen. Honestly, everyone in the press box thought he was down, but he kept going and got six yards. That allowed Eagle Valley to maintain its 14-point lead, which was critical late.

“No, I keep running until the whistle,” Nielsen said when asked if he thought he was down.

• OK, as far as the Sailors go, they’re going to snap this streak, which is now 22 losses in a row. Steamboat hosts Summit next week, and the Tigers got by Battle Mountain, 21-7, Friday night. Montezuma-Cortez is a home game Sept. 29, and there are the Huskies Oct. 5 in Edwards. (This is the fun part – now Huskies fans will say I “like” Eagle Valley better.) It’s going to be someone. Christian Ramirez can give teams fits with his mobility and accuracy. (My bet is Cortez, and you’ll see why I think so when you see the scores from around the Slope below.)

Coach Ramunno felt his defense got a good rush on Ramirez in the first half and didn’t do the same in the second half. Eagle Valley will be working on a lot on tackling, 7-on-7s, etc.

And that makes this a good time for a bye week for Eagle Valley before heading to Delta in two weeks.

“What’s nice now is that we’ve got about nine practices before that,” Ramunno said. “That’s one thing about Zero Week. It throws you behind the 8-ball early, but now it’s going to be nice.”

• Around the Slope: Summit County 21, Battle Mountain 7; Delta 41, Gunnison 7; Rifle 45, Coal Ridge 6; Palisade 41, Central 6 and Cedaredge 46, Cortez 7. Moffat County plays Ridgeview Academy Saturday.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or cfreud@vaildaily.com.