Devils open season by stomping rivals
It was a sign of things to come.
Behind a powerful front seven, Eagle Valley rushed for 460 yards on its way to a 58-14 win in a game marking the start of the high school football season. For Alvis and company, the win proved it is possible to reload a backfield that was known as one of the best in the state last year. For the Huskies, the loss proved there’s no substitution for depth and speed.
“We have a lot of good backs,” Devils coach John Ramunno said. “That’s what we love about the double wing. We can employ a lot of people in the game plan, which we did tonight.”
Alvis, a senior, only carried the ball four times, but wound up with 97 yards and a 22-yard touchdown reception that put the Devils up 14-0 in the first quarter.
It was Craig Jagger who earned the steak dinner, rushing nine times for 101 yards, including touchdowns on his last two carries, the longest being a 44 yarder late in the first half. On the night, 12 Devils carried the ball, six of them winding up in the end zone.
“That was a real tough squad we ran into,” Battle Mountain head coach Fred Koetteritz said. “They executed real well. There were some bright spots for us. But there was also some mistakes.”
Eagle Valley started the scoring on the first possession when junior fullback Tim Reitz rumbled in from 3 yards, capping the drive started by Alvis, who also performed the kicking duties. After trading punts with the Huskies, Alvis took a screen pass from senior quarterback Justin Wood 22 yards for a touchdown.
The Devils were just getting started.
In the second quarter, junior fullback Eric Smith broke a number of tackles on his way to a 16-yard touchdown jaunt, finishing off a 54-yard drive. Having firmly established the ground game, Wood went to the air. The senior showed the form that helped him pass for more than 1,000 yards last season by connecting with senior tight end Ethan Vroman on a 42-yard bomb. Tack on a 44-yard touchdown on a nifty counter play on the next possession by Jagger and the Devils marched into halftime ahead 34-0.
It didn’t get much better for the Huskies after intermission.
After Wood intercepted a pass by Eddie Irgens, who threw for 90 yards and a touchdown, Wood called his own number on the Huskies’ 25-yard line. Wood ran the first 10, flipped the ball back to Jagger, who finished it off by sneaking inside the pylon. Senior Tyson Ivie (three carries for 27 yards), junior Jerad Schlegel (three carries, 22 yards) and junior Steve Evancho (three carries, 37 yards) all added touchdowns as the game switched to the running clock.
But Battle Mountain proved it could find the end zone late in the game. A 62-yard pass from Irgens to Chase Cox finally gave the home stands something to cheer about. After recovering an onside kick, Beau Chadwick dove across the goal line to finish the scoring and set the clock back on normal time.
“These guys are rebuilding, you could tell,” Ramunno said. “And it’s going to get tougher for us.”
The Devils host Steamboat Springs, 9-2 last season, next week in their final non-conference matchup. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
The Huskies travel to Plateau Valley on Saturday for a 1 p.m. kickoff.
NOTES: Wood completed 3-of-4 passes on the night for 71 yards and two touchdowns… Penalties weren’t a factor. Only seven were called on the game for a total of 35 yards… Eagle Valley finished with 531 yards of offense compared to the Huskies’ 161… The Devils’ Derek Baldwin, Nathaniel Gallegos and the Huskies’ Junior Martinez all recovered fumbles… Martinez led the Huskies in rushing with 58 yards on 15 carries… This was the first regular season matchup between the rivals in four years.