Battle Mountain guts out clutch 13-7 win against Rams
Rams 7 0 0 0 — 7
Huskies 7 0 6 0 — 13
B - Cal Masler, 58 run, KG (Nelson Ledezma), 11:34
R – Aldo Pinela, 83 run, KG (Alexis Lopez), 6:06
B – Masler, 1 run, (run failed), 7:45
EDWARDS — In the end, the biggest play of the game was a punt.
And for the record, Battle Mountain’s Charlie Morrow executed one heck of punt during the Huskies’ 13-7 win against Roaring Fork on Friday night in Edwards.
The fact that Morrow was punting was only one of many reasons Battle Mountain can be proud of Friday’s win and a 2-0 mark to start the season.
Besieged by comings and goings, the Huskies entered the game without their starting quarterback, Traver Goldberg, and their most-experienced running back Chance Archuleta and still found a way to win.
Without Goldberg, the Huskies tried a little bit of everything under center with Robert Redinger, Cal Masler and Charlie Morrow all taking snaps. And early on it looked like it might be a shootout.
Roaring Fork’s Aldo Pinela had a big return to start the game. But the Rams fumbled on their first snap from the line of scrimmage. The Huskies wasted no time as Cal Masler took the next play 58 yards to the house for 7-0 lead.
Three possessions later, the Rams answered with their own big play. Pinela blew through a big hole on the right side and raced 83 yards to the end zone to tie it at seven.
And then things developed into a defensive duel. Battle Mountain’s Hector Machigua, Todger Davis, Nick Hancock and Zane Hensel, just to name a few, put the locks on Roaring Fork’s offense, which wasn’t helping itself with penalties. In the middle of this, Huskies kicker Nelson Ledezma went down with an injury and did not return to the game.
A thing of beauty
That became a big deal as the Huskies opened second half with a big kickoff return from Morrow. Battle Mountain started its drive on the Rams’ 27 with Masler running on six of the seven ensuing plays, capped by 1-yard score on fourth-and-goal.
With no kicker, the Huskies had to go for two and the run failed.
The Huskies wouldn’t score again, but they did have a fantastic clock-eating drive in the fourth quarter, consuming more than six minutes, while hanging on to a 13-7 lead. Redinger, Masler and Morrow all ran the ball during a 12-play drive, which forced Roaring Fork to exhaust its timeouts.
But with 26 seconds left on the clock, the Huskies had to punt from midfield and had no Ledezma. This is where disaster can strike. It didn’t.
Roaring Fork sent the kitchen sink to block the kick, but Morrow took the snap cleanly and got the punt off just in time. Not only did he avoid the block, but he ended up pinning the Rams on their own 8-yard line, a thing of beauty.
The Rams could run only one play before time expired and the Huskies came away with a gutsy win.
Battle Mountain (2-0) heads to Coal Ridge next week, while Roaring Fork (0-2) is at Grand Valley.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.