Huskies go down in homecoming game
EAGLE-VAIL – The first six minutes and the last six minutes of Battle Mountain’s homecoming game against Cortez belonged to the Huskies. Unfortunately for Battle Mountain, all of the minutes between did not go unclaimed.The Huskies fell 27-57 to the Panthers in their first home game of the season Friday night. It wasn’t all bad. The Huskies launched into action with the first of many turnovers falling into their hands. Battle Mountain quarterback Bart Cuomo worked the ball downfield with short passes and some extra legwork by Mike Jannsen and Andrew Martinez. It was Ryan Hedrick who ran it into the right corner of the end zone for the first touchdown of the evening, Kyle Moore putting the extra point through the uprights.The Huskies’ defense proceeded to hold Cortez on fourth down and take possession around the 30 yard line.That was the first six minutes.
Then Cortez nabbed an interception off of a bobble and reclaimed the ball. The first of many long and fast runs ensued, all culminating with Cortez landing in the end zone. On this first go-around, the Panthers fumbled on their extra point attempt and the Huskies held their lead, 7-6.After a well-executed on-side kick, Cortez reclaimed the ball to end the first quarter.One fast opponentStill fighting, the Huskies defense held into the second quarter. Jose Carlos had a sack, resulting in a fumble, which was recovered by Joe Ortega. Hedrick rushed for a few yards, but the Huskies fumbled and recovered the ball. After the lost yardage, they were forced to punt. Although the Panthers moved the ball, the Huskies’ D shut them down and Todd Walker and Cuomo connected for a 20-yard pass. Cuomo was sacked shortly afterwards, and Battle Mountain gave the ball away again. Cortez’s Tim Halper seemed to be everywhere on the field, most notably poised in front of the air-born ball. With some speed to go with this honing talent, Halper ran the ball 80 yards for another Panthers’ touchdown, which his followed up with a two-point conversion.”We needed to start playing defense,” said Martinez, who grabbed an interception at the end of the first half, but to no avail, as Cortez regained possession and had another fast break to run the ball 70 yards for another TD and two-pointer to close the half.
“On offense, we were doing pretty good,” Martinez said. “But we should have still recovered that, no matter how quick they are.”Indeed, there were some defense slips, which Cortez took full advantage of throughout the game. “We just had our heads down a little bit,” said TJ Simpson, who had the most Battle Mountain passing yardage. “We gave up for a little while. We had a little peptalk at half-time. I thought it boosted our ego a little bit, but we came out and still had our heads down.”On to the second halfCortez opened the second half with a triple pass resulting in a touchdown. The Huskies offense failed to move forward, but on the punt, Martinez picked up a fumble. Then Cortez’s Halper materialized in thin air again for another interception. The Huskies’ D held, Martinez left with a cramped calf, and once Battle Mountain had the ball, another turnover followed, this time Cuomo diving in for the tackle.
Cortez’s Brian Kop put on his running shoes for another TD. Battle Mountain, in turn, had to fight its way down the field to first and goal, where Chad Wilkison punched across the line for six points to open the fourth quarter and bring the score to 36-13. The final quarter proved prolific for both teams, Cortez’s Kop running back for another TD, which Battle Mountain’s Todd Walker answered after a throw from Cuomo. Halper stepped in for another pair of interceptions, however, bringing his team’s score to 57. And now the last six minutes … Walker and Simpson kept the forward march alive, and Cuomo hit Simpson in the end zone for another score, which he followed up by running in the two-point conversion. The Huskies’ defense also found some reserve strength, and held Cortez so the Battle Mountain offense could end the game close to another scoring opportunity.”We have a good passing game, we just need to block a little bit better and run our routes harder,” Simpson said after the game. “We need to do everything faster. We need to go hard the whole game.”Staff Writer Shauna Farnell can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 610, or firstname.lastname@example.org.