Tigers paw Devils in homecoming heartbreaker
Eagle Valley had nearly secured a win, but Summit fought back in the fourth
Eagle Valley’s last home football game of the regular season ended in heartbreak at John Ramunno Field Friday night.
The Devils went into the game with a 3-4 overall record. After a hot 3-0 start to the season, the past games in Frederick, Steamboat Springs, Battle Mountain and Glenwood Springs all turned in favor of their opponents.
Meanwhile, the visitors rode into town off a 47-0 sweep of Battle Mountain the week previous and a notable 41-0 sweep of Glenwood Springs in early October, with a 5-3 overall record. Heading into the game, the No. 2 Tigers were the clear favorite over the No. 5 Devils, but as the story goes, anything can happen under Friday night lights.
On the first drive, Summit’s defense displayed a show of strength, holding the Devils to a third-and-9, when quarterback Will Geiman took a sack, leading to a turnover on downs.
Eagle Valley’s defense responded, forcing a fumble that was recovered by the Tigers. The defenses dominated the rest of the first quarter, leaving offenses with no options but to keep the ball behind midfield.
As the second quarter started, the Tigers’ offense made the first attack into Devils territory. A drive led by quarterback Jack Schierholz brought the Tigers within striking distance, but the Devils’ defense stopped them in the red zone, forcing a kick to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead.
On offense, the Devils followed suit, making it to the 30-yard-line in Tigers territory, where Erich Petersen brought in a pass to run it into the end zone, earning the Devils an 8-3 lead with less than five left to go in the half. On the next drive, the Devils forced another fumble, and this time, they recovered it. But on the next play, the Tigers intercepted a pass from Geiman to retake possession of the ball. The rest of the first half was owned by the defenses, allowing the Devils to hold onto their 8-3 lead.
In the third quarter, the Tigers struck back, this time putting it into the end zone and taking the lead at 9-8. The rest of the third quarter was stilled by the defenses, though the Devils started the fourth with a rushing touchdown to retake the lead at 16-9.
With 10 minutes left, the visitors were running out of chances to regain the lead. The Devils’ defense proved again and again to cause a real disruption in the Tigers’ offensive attack. Stymied, the Tigers kicked it back to the Devils, and shortly later, Peterson caught it in the end zone to bring it to 22-9 with less than 5 minutes left on the clock.
The Tigers weren’t done though, as they rushed in a touchdown with 3 minutes left on the clock to tighten things at 22-16. The Tigers followed up with an onside kick, which they recovered for one last stand to steal the win. And that’s when Schierholz barreled his way through the Devils’ defense to set up runningback Jack Hodge with a rushing touchdown followed by a kick from Kyle Kimball to retake the lead at 23-22.
With a minute to go, the Devils were scrambling, and a long pass ended up into the hands of the Tigers to bring the game to an end.
The Devils will head to Palisade next week to finish the regular season.