Battle Mountain football bows to Evergreen
Huskies competitive in loss
EDWARDS — Bear with us, but if the name of the school is Evergreen, shouldn’t the team wear green?
It seems logical, but the Cougars showed up in Edwards on Friday night in crisp white uniforms with gold numbers, and not a shred of green.
Green or not, Evergreen took care of the Huskies, 41-14.
Trivia break: What Battle Mountain football player has a win against Evergreen?
Yes, it was the third game in a row Battle Mountain football lost a-lot-to-a-little. But digging underneath the score, the Huskies appeared to show some improvement in areas since their fans saw them last in a 42-0 loss to 5A Ralston Valley two weeks ago.
For starters, Battle Mountain was competitive in the first half. Against the aforementioned Ralston Valley, three Battle Mountain turnovers turned into a 21-0 deficit during the first quarter. A week later at Palisade, the Huskies trailed the Bulldogs, 28-0, at intermission.
Friday night, the Huskies made it a game against the Cougars. Evergreen’s Griffin Lauritano hooked up with Carter Cassin for a 19-yard strike and a 7-0 lead.
For the first time this season, the Huskies responded with a scoring drive of their own in the first half.
Battle Mountain is primarily running the football this season and the ground game set up the drive nicely. However, Battle Mountain coach Jim Schuppler likes to mix it up, so Kai Haggen found T.J. Nixon for a 14-yard gain. Two plays later the Huskies ran “Ghost to the Post” to perfection. Haggen played the role of Kenny Stabler and Luke Larsen was Dave Casper. The play went 32 yards to the house to tie the game at seven.
Evergreen’s Noah Martens ran in a score on the ensuing possession and then the Cougars capitalized on a Huskies’ fumble.
Evergreen struck quickly with Lauritano finding Jackson Mott for 23 yards and a ticket to the end zone.
Down 21-7, Battle Mountain kept fighting. The Huskies converted a fourth-and-2 with Haggen calling his own number for 8 yards.
Trivia answer: Heivan Garcia, Class of 2013. He kicked for the football team while also being a star on the 2012 Battle Mountain soccer team that beat Evergreen in the quarterfinals and won state.
Elijah Morales started running with some attitude in his strides and Ryan Huck ripped off a big gain before the drive stalled in positive territory.
On defense, Battle Mountain did a nice job of holding the Cougars to just one score in the second quarter.
The Huskies stopped one drive with an Andre Skweir fumble recovery. Huck sacked Lauritano to stop another Evergreen march.
Down 27-7 at the half, Battle Mountain’s Marshall Jones applied the brakes on Evergreen’s first drive of the second half with a sack. Evergreen didn’t score again until there was 9:39 left in the game.
All that hard work on defense paid off when Haggen had a brilliant throw to Tanner Roberts for 69 yards and a touchdown with 8:41 remaining in regulation.
It’s a matter of consistency for the Huskies — playing with fewer mistakes, be they breakdowns or penalties. But Battle Mountain has built a foundation during the first three weeks of the season and the Huskies hope it will carry over into the second half of the campaign.
Battle Mountain hits the road next week to face Roosevelt.
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