Game on: It’s time for Devils-Huskies football |

Game on: It’s time for Devils-Huskies football

GYPSUM – One thing is for certain when Battle Mountain football visits Eagle Valley at Hot Stuff Stadium tonight at 7.Devils’ coach John Rammuno and his counterpart at Battle Mountain, Pat Engle, will not need lengthy pep talks.Both teams have taken the cursory week-at-a-time approach to this season, but Week 5 has been on the brain for both the Devils and the Huskies since practice began back in August.”It’s always one to get excited for, playing in the same county,” Rammuno said. “I know that our kids play these guys in middle school (at) Berry Creek and Minturn … Gypsum Creek and Eagle.”Eagle Valley (3-1) is definitely the favorite over the Huskies (1-3). Looking at common opponents, the Devils ripped Cortez on the road a notched an impressive win against Moffat County, while the Huskies were routed by both teams.”It will be the best team we play this year thus far, by far,” Engle said. “The first thing is that it’s not about being competitive anymore. It’s about playing a football game. On film, they are very good. They run the ball well, their speed as a team. And, it’s not just (Sean) Matheson, (Cody) Comerford and (Kenny) Slaughter. Their team speed is tremendous – they are very athletic.”Last yearThe Devils have controlled this series since 1997 when the Huskies beat Eagle Valley twice. Yet last year’s game was very competitive with the Devils needing a 19-play, 80-yard drive which consumed 11:30 of the clock to ice a 28-17 victory at Phelan Field.”Last year, we were down at half, 17-14,” Rammuno said. :We had some turnovers that hurt us, three interceptions … a couple fumbles. … We’ve tried to stress that all year.”Eagle Valley’s long march in last year’s game has doubtless been the topic of conversation in Eagle-Vail this week. While Engle was coy about whether the team had watched the film of the drive, it’s safe to say that he’s using it as motivation.”They were pissed – they were up, 17-14, at halftime and felt like they should have won,” Engle said. “Anytime that a team can drive the ball for 10 minutes and convert four fourth downs, our kids are pissed for allowing them to do that. But, that’s what a great football team does.”On offense, it’s no mystery what Eagle Valley runs. The Huskies will see a load of the double wing. They know it. It’s just a matter of stopping it.”To be quite honest, we’re practicing with 13 kids on offense because the push their offensive line gets is phenomenal,” Engle said. “They are a great football team. Right when you stop them, they come back and run a counter or a trap and run a little bit of option or throw the ball over the top of you. The scary thing is their receivers are flyers.”Meanwhile, the Huskies feature Urban Meyer’s’ spread offense, which balances the run and the pass.”We don’t want to get beat deep,” Rammuno said. “The secret is to pressure the QB (Bart Cuomo) and put some heat on him. … We can’t let him pick us apart. We have to be able to cover five receivers they send out.”Sports writer Ian Cropp contributed to this story.Sports editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555 or via cfreud@vaildaily.comVail, Colorado

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