Huskies open with 24-7 win vs. Sailors
Sailors 0 0 7 0 — 7
Huskies 3 0 7 14 — 24
B – 32 field goal (Nelson Ledezma), 6:43
S – Canon Reese, 95 fumble return, KG (Zach Roach), 10:15
B – Traver Goldberg, 1 run, KG (Ledezma), 5:42
B – Chance Archuleta, 3 run, KG (Ledezma), 5:15
B – Cal Masler, 45 fumble return, KG (Ledezma), 0:59
EDWARDS — Have a night, kid.
In the course of about 6 minutes of football action, Battle Mountain’s Cal Masler had a jaw-dropping punt return, setting up a Huskies’ touchdown, fumbled a punt, which could have cost his team the game, and promptly redeemed himself with a 45-yard fumble return to the house that iced a 24-7 win over Steamboat Springs on Friday night in Edwards.
In the season opener for both teams, the Huskies were clinging to a 10-7 with visiting Steamboat punting the ball. Masler hauled in the kick at the 27-yard line, went down the right side of the field and then pulled off his best Road Runner imitation.
He stopped and Wile E. Coyote, aka the Sailors defense, kept going past him. Masler, still upright and inbounds, cut upfield to his left, busting tackles as he went, finishing with a 63-yard highlight reel return.
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Two carries by Chance Archuleta from the 10-yard line put the Huskies up, 17-7. Battle Mountain’s defense, which did not allow a score all night, seemed to have produced the stop on the ensuing possession, but Masler fumbled the punt, giving the Sailors new life.
The Huskies’ defense bailed him out stopping the Sailors and, with about a minute to go, Masler redeemed himself. Sailors quarterback Nate Roach completed a pass to Canon Reece, but the latter fumbled and Masler was Johnny-on-the-spot, scooping the ball and rambling 45 yards for a score.
It was just another day at the office for the Huskies, who beat Steamboat for the first time since 2011.
Battle Mountain led Steamboat, 3-0, after a first-half, which saw both teams’ offenses understandably looking like it was Zero Week. The Huskies got their points as a result of a shanked Sailors’ punt and a 32-yard field goal from Nelson Ledezma.
The Huskies (1-0) seemed to have a great drive going to start the second half as quarterback Traver Goldberg completed a 47-yard pass to — who else, Masler — that had Battle Mountain on the Steamboat 5. Goldberg called his own number on the next play, but fumbled. Steamboat’s Reese came out the pile with ball and scampered 95 yards to put the Sailors up, 7-3.
Battle Mountain responded well, though, with a 10-play, 64-yard drive that put the Huskies up for good at 10-7. Goldberg completed a 27-yard pass to Robert Redinger during that march, while Archuleta gained some tough yards on the ground. Goldberg capped it with a 1-yard sneak.
The Huskies, by playing in Zero Week, have a by next Friday to prepare for Roaring Fork on Sept. 9 as nonconference play begins. The Sailors have their home opener against Summit County on Friday.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.