Huskies’ stumbles seal Sailors’ victory
Special to the Daily
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — It wasn’t pretty from any angle, but the Steamboat Springs football got a standout night from its defense and from do-everything senior Joe DeLine on Friday and that, along with five turnovers, was enough for the Sailors to pull out a victory at home, beating Battle Mountain 14-10.
“We’re not the biggest team, so we try to play with heart,” Steamboat senior Scott Lang said. “They’re a rival, and we just love to win.”
Big Timely Plays
Neither team had much success moving the ball in the game, but while the Huskies had a few more big plays on offense, Steamboat’s big plays were more timely.
The final phase of the game offered a perfect example.
Steamboat took the lead early in the fourth quarter on a 4-yard Payton McElhiney-to-Christopher Kaminski touchdown pass. A Battle Mountain fumble on a perhaps-unintended backwards lateral set up that score.
Still, the Huskies found an answer moments later when quarterback Demetrius Parrish connected with Chase Keep on a short pass.
Keep quickly turned it into a seemingly game-changing play, flying down the sideline toward a touchdown, at least until Steamboat defenders caught up and the ball popped loose.
The Sailors recovered on their 10-yard line, ending a huge threat.
“We were lucky. He was gone,” Steamboat senior Connor Fraiser said, grinning after the game. “We’ve really been working on getting the ball out and it showed tonight.”
The Sailors survived one more threat when Parrish’s fourth-down 30-yard Hail Mary was intercepted in the endzone by DeLine, one of two interceptions he had on the night, to go along with a rushing touchdown and a fumble recovery.
“Joe’s a freak,” McElhiney said. “He’s an animal. He’s a leader.”
Struggling to find rhythm
The Huskies’ did have moments where it all looked easy, never more so than one the first drive of the second half when quarterback Demetrius Parrish rocketed around the left side of the line and went 77 yards yards to tie the game at 7-7.
More often, however, both teams struggled to find any rhythm and let opportunities slip away.
Steamboat, for instance, when for fourth-and-one from its own 29-yard line on the game’s opening drive, and failed to convert. Four plays later, Battle Mountain missed a field goal.
The Sailors simply capitalized on a few more chances than the Huskies to win the game.
“We’re struggling to find our identity offensively,” Huskies’ coach Cliff Lohrey said. “We’re reaching right now offensively to find out what we do well. I have to put our kids in better positions.
“The credit goes to Steamboat. They played well enough to win and we, certainly from an offensive standpoint, did not. We didn’t coach well enough and didn’t play well enough.”
Battle Mountain (1-2) has bye week before hosting Moffat County in two weeks.
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