The West is wide open: Devils beat Huskies
Now the race is on
EDWARDS — Who’s Big Brother now?
The position of best of Eagle County, not to mention the top spot in the 4A Western Conference, is wide open after Eagle Valley boys lacrosse knocked off Battle Mountain, 13-10, on Friday evening for the Devils’ second win in the last three meetings between the archrivals.
Please keep in mind that after Eagle Valley won the first meeting between the two teams on March 7, 2009. Battle Mountain took care of Eagle Valley 17 straight times after that until a 12-11 win on March 21, 2019. Battle Mountain did win the rematch in 2019, and one win can be a fluke.
But two wins in three tries is starting to become a pattern. A third time? Mark your calendars for June 8 in Gypsum.
“It means a lot,” said Julius Petersen, who had a hat trick. “Coming from Philip and Erich, it’s a big game for sure. Historically, we haven’t come out on top and it feels good to win.”
The Petersen family knows. Philip, Class of 2020, helped start Eagle Valley’s resurgence. Had the 2020 season happened, all three Petersens would have likely been on varsity. (And this team with Philip would be downright scary.) As it is, the Devils still have two with Erich, a junior, and Julius, a sophomore.
Meanwhile, on the Battle Mountain side, please remember that Friday was the season opener. All is not lost. The Huskies still have nine games to play.
“We’re just grateful to have a season,” Huskies coach Connor Compton said. “Losing a season of play was really difficult. I’m proud of my boys. I’m proud of their effort I’m proud of their ability to come and work hard. That’s a good team we just played.“
Get some ice packs
Friday’s affair was very physical affair, but clean. Of course, there was healthy chitty-chat between the two benches as expected, but there wasn’t the parade to the sin bin that one associates with the rivalry.
The game also had serious momentum swings. Battle Mountain jumped out to a 4-1 first-quarter lead, and it looked like the Huskies might run away with the game.
But after getting knocked around both figuratively and literally, Eagle Valley fought back. The Devils attackers’ stiffened their collective spine and took the hit that was coming near the crease while still getting the shot off.
Not surprisingly, Eagle Valley’s Hunter Davis was all over the place with four goals, including a terrific shot for a tally and 5-5 tie while getting clobbered by Battle Mountain defenders.
After trading goals throughout the third period, the Devils took a 9-8 lead on a Julius Petersen goal. The Huskies’ Luke Larson, who finished with four for his team, answered with a coast-to-coast goal.
Davis got what would be the game-winner with 5:30 left as the Devils started eating clock with each possession.
“Not rushing,” Devils coach Nick Carter said of the key to his team’s offensive success late. “Holding the ball and turning those good possessions into goals.”
Sebastian Witt made it 11-9 with a rocket of a shot. Nolan Minor and Jensen Rawlings added insurance.
“I that Eagle Valley attack has some serious skill,” Compton said “Our defense was fresh. None of them are returning varsity players, a sophomore and three juniors. So room to improve.”
First off all, let’s just look at the standings because it’s fun. Eagle Valley and Vail Mountain lead the West at 2-0, while Steamboat Springs, Battle Mountain, Aspen and Summit are all 0-1. That’s definitely different.
Eagle Valley is at Summit on Wednesday. We assume it will snow as it always snows when the three Eagle County teams head over the pass.
Battle Mountain hosts Aspen in what should be a whopper of a game between two teams that don’t want to take a second loss in league.