Summit survives Huskies’ comeback in Eagle-Vail
EAGLE-VAIL, Colorado – After Friday night’s game, Summit County and Battle Mountain football fans may not be able to last for the final nine weeks of the season.
Summit took a seemingly-comfortable 33-6 lead with 11:52 left in the game, only to watch Battle Mountain’s no-huddle offense put up 24 fourth-quarter points. The visiting Tigers needed four-yard run from running back Michael Daigle with less than a minute to go in the game to ice a 33-30 win Friday night at Phelan Field in Eagle-Vail.
In the process, Summit found a new quarterback and he’s Sam Dudick. The newcomer to high-school football ran for 164 yards and made several big plays for the Tigers.
“That’s the first time that quarterback’s played football since eighth grade,” Summit coach Dylan Hollingsworth said. “I ended up talking him into playing. I had him in class last year. Wow, I’m so happy I did.”
Meanwhile, Battle Mountain found a new offense – the no-huddle. Though ineffective in the first half, the Huskies roared to life in the final 24 minutes and had Summit, whose players were playing on both sides of the ball, gassed by night’s end.
“I’m really proud of the way they fought back. I knew they would,” Huskies coach David Joyce said. “They bought into the system. We just got into a hole. We were fighting our way out of it. We just gave them one too many scores.”
While Battle Mountain couldn’t get anything going in the first half with drives stalled by penalties and a fumble, Summit played solid ball-control offense. The Tigers mounted a 12-play drive to open the game. The Huskies defense forced Summit into a third-and-6 situation from the Battle Mountain 21, but as would be the case for most of the night, the Tigers answered with the clutch play.
Dudick hit senior Rick Dreyer over the middle for a touchdown and a 6-0 lead. After a fumble by Battle Mountain’s Chris Libertini, who would atone in the second half, Summit needed just one play, a 50-yard rumble from Dudick to make it 12-0 going into the half.
The Huskies finally showed some life in their first drive of the second half. Battle Mountain wen 70 yards on the ground capped by quarterback Parke Robbins calling his own number from 15 yards.
Leading 12-6, though, the Tigers appeared to put the game out of reach with three-straight touchdowns. Dudick ripped off a 57-yard scamper to make it 19-6. The Summit defense turned away the Huskies on their ensuing possession with an interception by Daigle.
The Tigers marched 82 yards in the other direction, ignited by a 52-yard run by Dudick. Nate Roe capped the drive with an 11-yard TD run. The Huskies again seemingly had Summit bottled up in the fourth quarter. The Tigers had 3-and-28 on the Huskies’ 42, but Dreyer sprang himself for not only the first down but the touchdown, giving his team a seemingly insurmountable 33-6 lead.
Huskies storm back
But as John Belushi reminded viewers in “Animal House,” “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?”
The Huskies turned a laugher into a nail-biter in alarmingly-quick fashion. Battle Mountain moved 66 yards in nine plays, as Robbins scored his second of the night on a 10-yarder,
Battle Mountain’s next drive was extended by a Summit face-masking penalty, and Jake Engle hit Robbins for 18 yards and a touchdown. With the two-point conversion, all of a sudden, Summit was leading just 33-22, with 4:42 left.
“We have a lot of growing to do,” Hollingsworth said. “It’s a learning experience. You get up and you feel good and you feel lackadaisical. The other thing is that I am so impressed with Battle Mountain. They found a weakness and went after us.”
The no-huddle was clearly wearing the Tigers down. Summit not only went three-and-out on their next possession, but the snap on the punt was low and the Tigers punter had to take a knee to catch the ball.
The Huskies took over on Summit’s 34, and needed only three plays to pull within 33-30. Jon Simpson scored on one of the longest 6-yard runs in recent memory as the Battle Mountain line pushed him forward into the end zone. Robbins converted the two-pointer and the Huskies were on the verge of an epic comeback.
Daigle’s run restored order as Summit got two first downs to run out the clock.
Summit hosts Englewood at the new Climax Molybdenum Field at Tiger Stadium on Friday while Battle Mountain plays its final game at Phelan Field against Palisade before moving to its new campus in Edwards.
Saints drop opener
GYPSUM – The Vail Christian 8-man football team showed flashes of its potential in a 22-8 loss to Plateau Valley Friday night at Hot Stuff Stadium in Gypsum.
“We improved immensely from our scrimmage,” Saints coach Tim Pierson said. “We have a lot of kids who never played football play for us tonight. What we’re excited about is their room for improvement. Things are looking up for us a we go into league (play).”
Most of the league should be on the lookout for Kieran Hurtt. The linebacker hit pretty much anything that moved Friday night, amassing more than 30 tackles as well as a fumble recovery.
The Saints fell behind 6-0 and running back and linebacker Steil Beagley injured his knee and was lost for the game. Pierson said it was strained MCL, but that the team won’t know for sure until Beagley gets an MRI.
Nevertheless, the Saints rallied with a touchdown drive capped by a 24-yard strike from quarterback Larry Cavanaugh to Ian Ryan for a touchdown. The Saints completed the two-point conversion as is customary in 8-man football.
The visiting Cowboys proved too much in the end, but the Saints (0-1) will try to get into the win column a week from today when they’re at Silver State.
Devils fall at Olathe
OLATHE – Strange as it might seem to say, Eagle Valley football might be happy to be done with playing 2A teams and happy to be starting its 3A Slope slate.
After losing to Faith Christian, a 2A state semifinalist last year, last week in Gypsum, the Devils fell by the same score Friday night at Olathe, the defending 2A state champion.
“Olathe worked hard,” Devils coach John Ramunno said. “They’re a strong team and they come at you hard. We just have to work on moving the ball a little. Turnovers hurt us again. We just have to get back to the basics.”
Eagle Valley hosts Glenwood Springs at Hot Stuff Stadium on Friday at 7 p.m.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.
Friday’s Western Slope scores
Summit County 33, Battle Mountain 30
Plateau Valley 22, Vail Christian 8
Olathe 41, Eagle Valley 0
Moffat County 20, Berthoud 14
Delta 34, Gunnison 14
Silver Creek 13, Rifle 2
Pueblo County 20, Palisade 7
Conifer 35, Glenwood Springs 25
Steamboat Springs, bye