Vail Valley football: Battle Mountain falls to Roaring Fork, 42-20
CARBONDALE – Injuries are like in-laws looking for a loan: They find you when you least can least afford them.
Battle Mountain coach David Joyce had said the Huskies would have to lean on their defense in Friday’s road game against Roaring Fork, especially with their injuries.
Running back Chris Libertini was sidelined in the second quarter, joining junior quarterback Jake Engle who was already on the injured list, as the Huskies fell 42-20.
That left Friday’s quarterback duties an interchangeable affair for Reeve Sanders and Eric Weiss, who, combined with Libertini’s speed was working out just fine, thank you very much.
The Huskies defense stifled Roaring Fork early in the game as the Huskies rolled to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
With the defense keeping Roaring Fork’s offense off the field, the Huskies were making it look easy in the early going. Libertini scored early, then added a 75-yard run to put the Huskies comfortably in front, 14-0. But that was the last action Libertini would see Friday.
The Rams finally woke up and running back Zack Browning broke a 66-yard run to put Roaring Fork on the board 14-7, the first of his four touchdowns on the night.
The Rams blocked a Battle Mountain punt midway through the second quarter, putting them in business at the Huskies’ 25-yard line. A gadget play on the first snap took the Rams and Browning to the end zone and a 14-14 tie.
Another gadget play on what was supposed to be the last play of the first half eventually led to Roaring Fork touchdown and a 21-14 halftime lead.
The Rams hit a lateral to their wide receiver, who heaved a hail mary pass toward the end zone 45 yards away as time expired. But a pass interference against Battle Mountain gave Roaring Fork one more chance, because the half cannot end on a defensive penalty.
On that bonus play, a screen pass, some good blocks and a couple missed tackles saw Roaring Fork’s Browning make the end zone again from 25 yards out and a 20-14 Rams lead. The point after made it 21-14 at halftime.
Roaring Fork added another on a quarterback keeper with 3:56 left in the third quarter, 27-14.
Battle Mountain bounced up off the mat as Reeve Sanders called his own number for long run up the left sideline.
The Huskies went for it on fourth down and Eric Weiss drilled a 20-yard touchdown strike to Cody Hervert to cut it to 27-20 late in the third quarter.
The Huskies offense started rolling again, on a combination of some creative play calling and guts-of-a-burglar gambling.
They went for it on fourth down, and a slashing run by Sanders along with a facemask penalty gave Battle Mountain a first down at the 45.
Sanders broke loose for a 28-yard run, down to the 22. Sanders followed with another hard run and a first down.
Weiss pulled down a pass and scrambled down to the four yard line, for another fourth down. He dodged a bullet and a Roaring Fork blitz, but his running pass fell incomplete and Roaring Fork took over on downs with 4:44 left.
Roaring Fork’s Zack Browning broke the first play for 96-yard touchdown run. The Rams added the two-point conversion and a 35-20 lead. With 1:17 left the Rams added one more touchdown on a Battle Mountain turnover and the 42-20 final.
Battle Mountain fell to 1-1 on the season and has its home opener Friday against Classical Academy.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org