Huskies topple Bulldogs
Scores of interest
Devils 41, Summit 7
Rifle 36, Delta 19
Steamboat 47, Central 29
Glenwood Springs 17, Palisade 10
Huskies 41, Moffat 27
Aspen 31, Roaring Fork 24
Basalt 27, Coal Ridge 6
Saints vs. Elbert, 3 p.m., at Battle Mountain
Longmont Chr. at R.M. Lutheran, 1 p.m.
Nederland at Gilpin County, 1 p.m.
Pikes Peak Chr. at Justice, 1 p.m.
West Grand 50, Plateau Valley 20
CRAIG — Happy Homecoming, Moffat County.
Battle Mountain opened 2A Slope North conference play with a 41-27 victory over the Bulldogs, wrecking their festivities, which included a helicopter and fireworks.
Battle Mountain (2-2 overall and 1-0 in the league) provided their own fireworks with a kickoff return from Noah Shamis; two touchdown passes from Demetrius Parrish, three field goals from Chase Keep and some hard running late from Wyatt Harwood.
“I’m just proud of our kids,” Huskies coach Kevin Meyer said. “We’re making progress. We’re trying to build a football program and not cut corners.”
And while beating a hapless Middle Park team and being competitive in losses to Eagle Valley and Steamboat Springs was good, this is tangible progress.
Moffat County stomped all over the Huskies, 54-3, last year in Edwards, and, now, Battle Mountain went to Craig and got a win.
Turnovers costly early
Parrish to Owen Riley for 14 yards put the Huskies on the board at 7-0. Battle Mountain committed the first of two turnovers — this one an interception — which helped keep Moffat in the game early. The Bulldogs turned that into touchdown.
The Huskies went up 10-7 on a 28-yard field goal from Keep.
A Battle Mountain fumble gave the Bulldogs a short field and an easy score, putting the hosts ahead, 14-10.
That lead didn’t last long because Shamis ran the kick back 87 yards to the house. The Bulldogs mounted their own drive for a score, but the Huskies blocked the kick.
Down 20-17, with about three minutes to go, Battle Mountain employed a bit of a hurry-up offense. With five ticks left in the half, Parish hit Cas Sheridan for 12-yard scoring strike and the Huskies led at the half, 24-20.
“We practice adversity,” Meyer said. “We practice long and hard, and we were in better shape at the end of the game.”
Battle Mountain’s defense stepped up in the third, stopping the Bulldogs on a lengthy drive on a fourth-and-1. The offense turned that into points, courtesy of Keep, who booted a 38-yarder.
And then it was time to pound away at the Bulldogs (1-4, 0-1).
“I thought our offensive line took charge in the third and fourth quarters,” Meyer said.
Battle Mountain drove the ball to the Bulldogs’ 6. Up 27-20, the trusty leg of Keep likely would have made it a two-score game. But on fourth-and-1, the Huskies went for it. Harwood not only got the first down, but he got all six yards and a touchdown for a 34-20 lead.
After Moffat halved the lead with a late drive, Harwood delivered the icing on the cake — 54-yard scoring rumble, and Battle Mountain had a very happy bus ride back from Craig.
It’s Battle Mountain’s first road win since the Huskies topped Eagle Valley in Gypsum on Nov. 4, 2011. One also has to go back to 2011 for the program’s last win in Craig (Oct. 14, 28-13).
The Huskies return home next week to host Roaring Fork on Friday at 7 p.m.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, email@example.com and @cfreud.