Rivalry games loom for Devils, Huskies | VailDaily.com

Rivalry games loom for Devils, Huskies

Eagle Valley's Manuel Holgun, right, and Battle Mountain's Yini Ruiz, left, race for the ball on Oct. 22, 2009, at Battle Mountain in Edwards. The game ended in a draw, meaning that Steamboat Springs, not the Huskies, won that year's Slope title. Could history repeat itself?
Dominique Taylor | Daily file photo |

So, does anyone think Oct. 17 is looming larger and larger?

Battle Mountain soccer at Eagle Valley.

It became bigger after the Huskies toppled Summit County on Tuesday to take over the top spot in the Slope. The Huskies host Rifle today and then head to Gypsum to try to clinch the league crown.

So does Eagle Valley play the role of spoiler? Remember 2009, people? Battle Mountain needed a win against the Devils on the final day of the season to win the Slope? (Starting to sound familiar?) Huskies 0, Devils 0 was the score and the crown went to Steamboat Springs.

If the Devils win, so does Summit. If it’s a draw, we go to goals allowed in league play and that currently favors the Tigers. Very interesting.

Also interesting is that home pitch apparently meant nothing in the Battle Mountain-Summit meetings, and it really should have. The Huskies want to play wide and possess, using all 80 yards of width on their home surface. Summit likes a very vertical game on its more narrow field (68 yards). Naturally, the Huskies won up there and the Tigers down here.

Another observation: Yes, players are on the field and determine the outcome. Good coaching helps, too. The Battle Mountain staff had the Huskies prepared in every way for Tuesday’s game. Props to some guy named Cope, Allison O’Neill and Alex Darbut.

• We are eight days from a rather big rivalry football game, as well. We still need a nickname for Devils-Huskies or Battle Mountain-Eagle Valley football game. Eagle Valley-Palisade is simple: Ramunno Bowl. Eagle River Rumble? As I was saying, we still need a nickname.

In football news, according to John Ramunno, Riley Rowles did not break his leg, as feared, during last week’s game against Glenwood Springs. This was scary because Rowles doesn’t go down like he did Friday. He’s a tough kid. According to the coach, Rowles has an LCL sprain and might be back for Palisade in Week 9.

In the meantime, by the time you read this in print, the Devils will be on their way to Cortez for Friday’s game against the Panthers. Western Slope road games are really an experience. When I was in high school, when the dinosaurs still roamed the earth, one hour in a van was a pretty big roadie. Please do give my regards to Moab, fellas.

• Huzzah to the Huskies for having a halftime lead against Steamboat Springs. No, it wasn’t a win. It is progress, nonetheless. I think we were worried in the first few weeks that the Huskies might not reach the end zone. (Don’t give me a hard time. You were thinking it, too.) Keep plugging away, guys.

• Vail Christian moved its all-time record in weekday games to 2-0 with a Monday night win at Rangely. In answer to your first question, the Saints played Monday because last week’s snowstorm knocked out power to the town of Rangely. In answer to your second question, I have no idea why it’s so difficult for Vail Christian to play a game this year. In answer to your third question, in 2003, the Saints were awarded a forfeit victory over Longmont Christian on a Tuesday, so Vail Christian football is, in fact, 2-0 on days not called Friday or Saturday.

Branden Currey and Cole Caynoski had offensive touchdowns, while Alex Davis scooped and scored on defense. Vail Christian hosts West Grand at Battle Mountain High School on Saturday at 3 p.m. for Homecoming (Yes, Battle Mountain.)

Here’s a fun stat: The combined record of Homecoming opponents for the Huskies, Devils and Saints is 12-5. Two words, people: Gilpin County.

• Not that we would ever look ahead, but Battle Mountain volleyball is ranked No. 5 in the maxpreps.com poll. Since the top-36 teams in 4A make regionals, the Huskies look in relatively good shape. Huskies volleyball coach Jason Fitzgerald probably didn’t want you to read that, but the kids are pretty good at that Internet thing. And, Eagle Valley just happens to be No. 17. You can catch Devils at Huskies on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Edwards.

• Rivalry volleyball, Part II: Vail Christian is at Vail Mountain on Friday night at 7. The Saints lost at Paonia, 3-1, on Tuesday. No shame there. That’s the first set the Eagles have dropped in league play. Paonia and Hotchkiss play for the league title Friday, and it’s quite possible the Saints and Gore Rangers could be playing for third in the 2A Slope. Silently, the Gore Rangers are 4-2 in the league.

• Congratulations to Rob Ellsworth and Jason Spannagel, both former Eagle Valley and Battle Mountain baseball managers, respectively. They are both Cardinals fans as well. Gentlemen, you must destroy the Dodgers in the NLCS. Tom Niedenfuer, meet Jack Clark. That is all.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 and cfreud@vaildaily.com.