Steamboat Springs rolls Huskies, 45-0
EAGLE-VAIL – If you got to Friday night’s Battle Mountain-Steamboat Springs football game a little late, you missed a whole lot.The visiting Sailors racked up 28 points in the first six minutes – on all of eight plays – on their way to an easy 45-0 win at Phelan Field.”Boy, the core of our offense uses speed to get outside, and when we can make that work, it makes our life easier,” Steamboat coach Aaron Finch said. “So, we were very happy. Good start, good execution.””You can’t give up 28 points in the first five minutes (sic),” Huskies coach Pat Engle said. “Ultimately with a lot of teams, speed is going to catch us, especially on the edges. We’ve got some young kids. Ultimately, they got us on the edges. You can’t run on the middle of the defense.”Ka-boomSteamboat wasted no time getting to work. After the Huskies went three-and-out, the Sailors needed two plays, the second a 56-yard run from Walker Hammond, to go up 7-0. After a Huskies’ fumble gave Steamboat excellent field position, Hammond struck again, this time for 17 yards
Battle Mountain, which didn’t get its first first down until the end of the first half, went three-and-out. Steamboat needed only one play this time. Quarterback Tanner Stilwell hooked up with Jack Serhani for 48 yards and it was 21-0.The Huskies fumbled again on their next possession. Three plays later, Hammond, who finished the day with a 132 yards on 16 carries, rolled 24 yards into the house. With 6:10 left in the first quarter, Steamboat led, 28-0.”If you fumble the ball on the 15-yard line (sic), the other team’s going to score,” Engle said. “It’s just that simple.”Steamboat’s Ben Deline booted a 32-yard field goal with 5:37 left in the half. Another Huskies’ turnover put Steamboat on the Battle Mountain 17. Hammond was happy to oblige with his third touchdown of the night. The Sailors’ Thomas Allen rounded out the scoring in the second half with a touchdown.PositivesDespite the fact that Steamboat put up 45 points, one really couldn’t pin that on the Huskies’ defense. The D spent a majority of the game on the field, often backed up in its own end.Battle Mountain’s offense, led by quarterback Mike Janssen in his first start, understandably struggled. The Huskies had three fumbles and an interception in their end of the field and Steamboat converted three of those turnovers into touchdowns.
Another bright spot was that Janssen, after a while, started getting comfortable in the offense. Though his line of 6-for-23 for 64 yards doesn’t show it, there were times Battle Mountain was moving the ball. One such time came when Janssen found Travis Landauer for 35 yards. It was a good throw and an even better catch by Landauer who ripped the ball out of the hands of a Steamboat defender. Janssen was also the team’s leading rusher.”I was telling someone today that this kid is going from tight end and we thought he’d catch 60 balls this year,” Engle said. “Last year, he was playing center and now he’s our quarterback. He’s a great athlete. He’s a great kid. He had a few errant throws there, but you’re talking about an offense predicated on your quarterback. Mike has done a great job. He’s only had four days to get ready.””It was pretty fun,” Janssen said. “It was hard to learn five months worth of plays in one week, but it was fun. The blocking was good and I’ve got to thank my linemen. My reads were pretty good. I’ve just got work on throwing the ball outside on those long tosses.”Battle Mountain and Steamboat also did a nice job of pushing past last year’s game when Huskies players of Hispanic and Mexican origin were taunted with racial epithets. According to both coaches, the teams comported themselves well.”It was a great game,” Finch said. “It was a fun game. The officiating was awesome. The players were all great. It was everything you want in a high school football game.””I think it’s a dead issue,” Engle said. “I think their kids played with class. Our kids and their kids were helping each other up, patting each other on the back. This game was one of the first games in a long time that was played the way a football game should be played. Steamboat was better than us. They beat us, good for them. But we didn’t do anything to bring shame to the game. Ultimately, the game is the most important thing.”
Next upSteamboat hosts Eagle Valley in a big one Friday. If favored Palisade runs the table – though the Devils have not yet played the Bulldogs – this game is likely for second place in the 3A Slope and a home game in the first round of the playoffs.”They’re a fast football team,” Finch said of Eagle Valley. “They’ve got some athletes and coach (John) Ramunno is a great coach, so we’ve got our work cut out for us.”Meanwhile, Battle Mountain (1-5) hits the road to take on a struggling Delta team.”It should be a good matchup for us,” Engle said. “We still have to break in our quarterback and we still have to travel three hours. Delta always kind of snake-bites Battle Mountain. We’ve got to overcome that.” Sports editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555 or via email@example.com.Vail, Colorado