Devils lose to Steamboat
At first glance, a stat line of 103 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns would indicate senior David May is a running back. Throw in his 144 passing yards and three touchdown passes, however, and what you have is a quarterback in command of the Steamboat Springs football team.
Behind 486 total yards on offense Friday night, Steamboat defeated Eagle Valley, 56-28, avenging last year’s eight-point loss to the Devils.
“This was a big win, a very big win and an important one,” Sailors coach Mark Drake said.
Steamboat wasted little time Friday, scoring on its opening possession behind May’s 22-yard completion to a wide-open Lonny Radford across the middle. Tyler Fosdick’s kick was good, giving the Sailors an early seven-point lead.
A subsequent Eagle Valley fumble on the kickoff, enabled the Sailors to quickly extend their lead to 14 within the first six minutes of Friday’s game.
The fumble was forced and recovered by sophomore Vince Grippa.
Eagle Valley pulled to within 14-7, following quarterback Sean Bartlett’s three-yard run with 3:08 left in the quarter. The score and subsequent PAT completed a balanced 81-yard drive highlighted by Jerad Schlegel and Brad Gamble’s 24- and 22-yard receptions, respectively.
The ease with which the Devils moved down the field at the end of the first quarter made it appear as if this year’s non-league game between the schools was going to be as tight as last year’s 28-20 Eagle Valley win.
The Sailors had other plans, scoring twice – behind short runs from May – in the second quarter, sending Steamboat into the half with a 28-14 lead.
Steamboat received the third-quarter kickoff and found the end zone four plays later on Radford’s seven-yard run. The second play of the drive – a 45-yard pass from May to Radford – set up the easy score.
The Sailors finished the third quarter with a 42-14 lead. Their final touchdown of the third came off May’s 60-yard scamper. His run was set up by two previous incompletions out of the shotgun formation. On third-and-10, May took the snap watched his blockers part the Devils in front of him and ran virtually untouched for the score.
Junior Brad Bonner, who wound up with 110 rushing yards of his own, was certainly impressed.
“I didn’t think he was that fast,” Bonner said.
Steamboat pulled a majority of its offensive and defensive starters at the end of the third, and it didn’t appear to matter initially when backup quarterback Tyler Fosdick completed a 40-yard scoring strike to Charlie Pappas early in the fourth.
But Eagle Valle y coach John Ramunno, a former Steamboat player and coach under Drake, left his starters in, and the offense, with the help of a Steamboat fumble, scored 14 points in one minute, closing the gap to 49-28.
Drake reinserted his starting offense, and it sealed the victory when May found tight end Casey Earp over the middle for a 27-yard score with 3:46 left in the game.
Backup kicker Walker Melzer was called upon to kick the extra point on the Sailors final two touchdowns after Fosdick – all 142 pounds of him – was rocked backyard and out of the game on a late hit following his touchdown pass early in the fourth.
Following the loss, Ramunno complimented Drake and the Sailors offense on fine execution and keeping his defense off balance, but he felt the Devils made their share of mistakes.
“We have to learn how to becomes tacklers,” Ramunno said. “We missed too many tackles, and we must have had 105 yards in penalties. We have to improve.”
Both teams will need to limit their penalties, particularly personal fouls, in future games.
Eagle Valley committed eight penalties for 81 yards, while Steamboat committed nine penalties for 80 yards.
The Sailors (2-0) next game is Sept. 12 in Berthoud. The Devils (1-1) look to rebound on Sept. 12 at Cedaredge.
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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.