Huskies football extra
Welcome to Huskies extra, where we start by asking, “You’ve got to be bleeping kidding me,” in the wake of Battle Mountain’s 22-21 loss at Rifle.
• A 45-yard field goal in high school on the Western Slope? (We’ll get to whether it was good or not later.)
• Ryan Moher fumbles the ball and Brandon Kittle is there to pick it up and advance it?
• Rifle quarterback Adam Rice, who’s completed five passes all season, converts fourth downs on two different drives?
Does Rifle have a David Joyce voo-doo doll? Have the Bears sold their soul to Satan to preserve their dominance (albeit by one point) over the Huskies? As a San Francisco Giants fan who’s seen his team lose in almost every conceivable way, I do wonder.
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OK, there’s no crying baseball, and there’s limited crying time in high-school football.
Here we go:
• Was the field goal good? Did Rifle get a little home-town help from the guy running the clock? I don’t know because I wasn’t there. And, further, I don’t care. I know this is going to be the buzz all week, certainly among the fans. If the team and its coaching staff is smart – and I think we’ve established that they are – they won’t.
The Huskies, as well as they played Friday, lost this game by having three trips into the Bear’s red zone that resulted in zero points. That’s your ball game, folks. The Huskies should have put this one away before it came down to Rice converting two fourth downs, before it came down to whether the clock started on time, before the Bears had the chance to kick the field goal.
There’s a reason Joyce has been jumping up and down, particularly after Week 2 against Roaring Fork, about starting fast. Yes, Battle Mountain led, 7-6, after three quarters, and seemed in control. This is what happens when you don’t put teams away when you have the opportunity.
This also goes back to what I was talking about in my preseason column. I don’t take joy in writing this at all, but it’s a fact – Battle Mountain still needs to learn how to win football games. With so little success in the past, this is hard to learn, but it’s a must if the Huskies want to make this season special.
• Did Battle Mountain out-macho itself? I know everyone in Battle Mountain’s camp wanted to send a message to Rifle – “We’re tougher than you.” It was reflected in the play-calling, especially deciding to go for it on fourth down on the Bears’ 6 at the end of the half and on the Rifle 11 in the third quarter.
Yes, kicking is a very rare art on the Slope. Yes, Battle Mountain’s kicker was 1-for-2 on extra points. But in both of these instances, these were essentially extra points. Make one field goal and this column is different.
• So, what are going to do about it, boys? This is the biggest question. Do you let this loss to Rifle linger like it did last year and take a few more losses while you’re still in a funk? Or do you take it out on Glenwood Springs next week? How the Huskies react to this loss will determine the outcome of the season.
In the meantime, could we please get a voo-doo doll for Rifle coach Damon Wells for next year?
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.