Huskies fall to Silver Creek 28-7
The Silver Creek Raptors, a second-year program, came to Huskies Stadium and picked up the first win in their program’s history, downing the Huskies 28-7.
“It’s been two years or a year and three games of explaining what this feeling’s going to be like, trying to describe it and now they taste it firsthand,” Raptors head coach John Scott said. “I was proud of them well before this game just because for these kids to come out for football, to stand up for it when our numbers have been down, they’ve kind of been ridiculed. They’ve hung in there and given us everything we wanted. They’re the type of kids that we want and, hell, I’ve been proud of them for a long time.”
The Raptors used a bruising running game – 54 carries for 293 yards – to wear down the Huskies. Silver Creek’s Tony Vanzant led the way with 18 carries for 122 yards, a new school record, along with a touchdown. Brian Levenduski ran five times for 66 yards and scored twice while Mark Merriot handled the ball 16 times for 58 yards.
That running game enabled the Raptors to build a 20-0 lead before Battle Mountain got on the board late in the second quarter. And that ground game all but ended the game with a 17-play, second-half-opening drive. Though the Raptors didn’t score, they took a whopping 10 minutes off the clock before the Huskies ever took a snap in the third period.
“It was good control on their part,” said Huskies coach Fred Koetteritz, whose team fell to 1-2 in 2002. “They had obviously made some good adjustments to our defense. They were hitting our gaps. They ran that cross-buck play there seven or eight times. Hats off to them. They kind of took the wind out of our sails.”
Battle Mountain was hard-pressed to generate any momentum Friday. Battle Mountain’s rushing attack was virtually nonexistent with only 53 yards on 23 carries.
“We need to establish the run,’ Koetteritz said. “Our philosophy was to balance the rushing and the passing game. You can’t go all in one or the other. That will be a concentration this week.”
That lack of balance left Huskies quarterback Eddie Irgens scrambling. The senior was able to complete nine passes for 101 yards. Chase Cox was on the receiving end of that total five times for 66 yards, including Battle Mountain’s lone score of the game. That came with two minutes left in the first half when Irgens found Cox over the middle for 17 yards.
Battle Mountain found itself deep in Raptors territory, courtesy of a big special teams play. After Silver Creek scored to make it 20-0, Jose Morales returned the ensuing kickoff 66 yards to the Silver Creek 19. Battle Mountain scored two plays later.
“We emphasize special teams as one-third of the game. Here I go with a cliche, but we had a couple blocked kicks. We’re always looking for extra points. They make a difference,” Koetteritz said. “The return was great. We weren’t very happy with the first couple of kickoff efforts and we told them so. We were really happy to see them blow that one off.”
Another thing that had to please Koetteritz was Jared Cliver. He had three sacks and kicked well for the Huskies.
“Jared did a real nice job of coming up and taking care of the quarterback,” Koetteritz said. “He did a great job giving us great field position with his kicking game.”
But in the end, it was not enough to hold off Silver Creek. On the Raptors’ first possession, they took it 63 yards on eight plays for a touchdown. The big play on that drive was a 33-yard scamper from Levenduski. Merriot finished the drive off with a 5-yard run.
In the second quarter, Huskies turnovers proved costly. Julio Hermosillo fumbled on the Huskies’ 40 and, with 4:48 left in the half, Levenduski cruised 26 yards for a touchdown, making it 14-0.
On the Huskies next possession, Irgens found Cox for 11 yards, but Cox was belted and he turned over the ball on the Huskies’ 25. From there, Silver Creek needed just two plays to score, with Vanzant doing the honors from 16 yards out.
Early in the fourth quarter, Silver Creek tacked on an insurance touchdown from Levenduski.
Extra Points: Battle Mountain blocked two kicks. The first block came from Chris Roberts on a Silver Creek punt. Battle Mountain also knocked down an extra point. … Battle Mountain is next in action Friday at Delta.
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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.