Huskies stun No. 2 Palisade
EDWARDS – Armageddon is upon us. Embrace it.
Battle Mountain’s defense broke up a track meet after the first half and the team’s offense ripped off 28 unanswered points in the first 12:38 of the second half as the Huskies stomped No. 2-ranked Palisade, 49-28, Friday night in Edwards. (This is not an April Fools’ story.)
It’s safe to say it was a pretty happy Homecoming at Battle Mountain, and a wonderful way to honor Todd Walker, Class of 2008, whose life was celebrated at halftime. Battle Mountain dedicated the north end zone to the alumnus who was murdered in March in Boulder.
The Huskies moved to 5-1 overall and 2-1 in the 3A Slope. It was their first win against Palisade since the early ’90s before the Bulldogs became a perennial state power.
Battle Mountain finally got a stop on Palisade’s first possession of the second half – neither team punted in the first half. The Huskies took over on their 45-yard line. Jake Engle hit Timmy Licciardi for 21 yards. That set up Chris Libertini for an 8-yard run and the go-ahead score for a 28-21 lead.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Kicker Heivan Garcia didn’t intend it, but his squib kick was recovered by Blaize Olle. Zach Guida, your Homecoming king, gave Battle Mountain two scores in 9 seconds with a 37-yard scamper as the Huskies went up, 35-21.
Palisade drove into Huskies territory, but Eric Weiss snuffed the drive with a pick. On the Bulldogs’ next possession, the Huskies got the ball back on downs. Olle rumbled 38 yards on the next play for a score.
Two plays later, the Huskies’ Libertini picked Palisade’s Luke McLean. Just 38 seconds into the fourth quarter, Guida ran 5 yards into the end zone, and Battle Mountain was up, 49-21.
Palisade mounted a six-minute drive to narrow it to 49-28 in the fourth quarter, but the horse was already out of the barn.
With the win, the Huskies officially threw their hat into the state-playoff chase. Meanwhile, Palisade suffered its worst loss since a 34-0 defeat to Pueblo Central during the 2009 playoffs.
Battle Mountain made a statement in the opening drive, marching 82 yards down the field. Sanders broke a 48-yard run and then it was Engle to Sanders for 14 yards and a score.
Palisade responded with the halfback option – Lane Orman to Caden Woods for 43 yards – McLean rumbled in from 5 yards out to tie it at 7.
The Huskies showed that they were airing it out at last as Engle to Sanders was good again, this time for 45. Guida plowed his way from 3 yards on fourth down with 2:34 left in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs did a little passing of their own as McLean to Woods went 27 yards. McLean let J.T. Townsend do the honors for a 1-yarder to open the second quarter.
Yet Battle Mountain was unperturbed. Even with miscues such as botched snaps and penalties, the Huskies’ offense kept rolling on the ground. Licciardi made a key play recovering a fumble by Guida after the latter had an 11-yard gain. Libertini punched it in from six yards for 21-14 lead.
Palisade came right back with a whole bunch of Moore calling his own number. Moore capped the drive with a 4-yard rumble, leaving it tied at 21 at the half.
For more on this game, check out Huskies Extra on http://www.vaildaily.com.
Palisade 7 14 0 7 – 28
Huskies 14 7 21 7 – 49
BM – Jake Engle, 14-yard pass to Reeve Sanders, KG, 8:30
P Luke McLean, 5-yard run, KG, 4:50
BM – Zach Guida, 3-yard run, KG, 2:34
P – J.T. Townsend, 1-yard run, KG, 11:56
BM – Chris Libertini, 6-yard TD run, KG, 4:17
P – McLean, 4-yard run, KG, 1:24
BM – Libertini, 8-yard run, KG, 8:25
BM – Guida, 37-yard run, KG, 8:16
BM – Blaize Olle, 38-yard run, KG, 2:23
BM- Guida, 5-yard run, KG, 11:22
P – McLean, 10-yard run, KG, 5:53