Eagle Valley blasts Battle Mountain, 47-14
Vail, CO Colorado
EAGLE-VAIL, Colorado ” No, Harrison Neal doesn’t change in a phone booth or wear a big-red “S” underneath his jersey, but his performance Friday night might have left fans thinking otherwise.
Neal and the Eagle Valley football team blitzed cross-county rival Battle Mountain, 47-14, at Phelan Field in Eagle Vail. The victory improves the Devils’ record to 4-5 overall, and 4-3 in the Slope. The Huskies fell to 0-9.
It took exactly one play for Neal and the Eagle Valley offensive line to establish their dominance. On the Devils first play from scrimmage, Neal burst through the line for a 66-yard touchdown run. In fact, Battle Mountain barely touched Neal on his first three carries, as he rushed for 161 yards and three touchdowns. The senior finished the game with 247 yards, and TD runs of 66, 18, 77, 40 and 30 yards.
“The offensive line was definitely the key,” Neal said. “I really didn’t have to do much. There were giant holes. I just had to run through them.”
In the past three weeks, Neal’s emerged as Eagle Valley’s most reliable threat. Against Delta on Oct. 10, he rushed for 99 yards and two TDs.
“Harrison did a great job (tonight),” Eagle Valley coach John Ramunno said. “He is just getting better every week. He sees things very well.”
After Neal’s 66-yard jaunt to make it 7-0, the Devils again marched down the field on their second drive. Brian Carrillo ” who tallied 122 yards on the ground ” went around left end for 57 yards down to the Battle Mountain 14-yard line. Two plays later, Neal sprinted 18 yards for the TD to make it 13-0.
Early in the second quarter, Neal struck again. This time, he made one cut inside and 77 yards later it was 21-0 Eagle Valley.
“They were really stunting hard in the middle,” Ramunno said. “Once you broke through that mess, you were gone.”
More of the same
The second half started almost exactly like the first. On Eagle Valley’s first possession, Neal went straight up the middle for a 40-yard touchdown run. He notched his last TD of the night two drives later on a 30-yard jaunt.
Eagle Valley finished the game with 450 yards rushing.
“That’s really what we were going for ” just to run the ball down their throats,” Neal said.
Devils quarterback Matt Morgan also did well on the ground. The senior added 48 yards, and TD runs of 21 and 25 yards.
Battle Mountain doesn’t give up
Even with the score sitting at 35-0, Battle Mountain continued to play hard. Quarterback Parke Robbins did most of the damage for the Huskies. The junior ran for 173 yards, and threw for another 148.
On Battle Mountain’s first scoring drive, Robbins twice ran for 16-yard gains. Jon Simpson capped the 8-play, 64-yard march with a 3-yard TD run. In the fourth quarter, Robbins cut the deficit to 41-14 with a nice 25-yard touchdown run where he juked multiple Eagle Valley defenders.
“Parke Robbins is the leader of our team,” Battle Mountain coach David Joyce said. “Tonight, he played like the leader of our team.”
With such a young squad, Joyce is hopeful better days are ahead for his Huskies. On Friday, he was proud to see Battle Mountain continue to fight, even after the outcome was no longer in doubt.
“(The players) really know how much I wanted to beat (Eagle Valley),” Joyce said. “If it’s the last thing I do at Battle Mountain, it will be to beat Eagle Valley. The scores aren’t going to be like that very long. That will be the last year the scores are like that.”
Eagle Valley and Battle Mountain both wrap up the regular season next week. The Devils host Rifle, while the Huskies travel to Delta.
Sports Writer Ian Smith can be reached at 970-748-2935 or email@example.com.
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