Vail Valley football: OT nightmare again as Huskies lose at Delta
DELTA – Until one week ago, Battle Mountain football had not played an overtime game since Aug, 29, 1997.
For the trivially-inclined, Battle Mountain beat Eagle Valley in that contest, 14-13, at the old Huskies Stadium in Eagle-Vail.
OT hasn’t been as kind to Battle Mountain 13 years later. Last week, Battle Mountain dropped a 40-34 heart-breaker in Edwards to Moffat County. Friday night, it was more agony in the mythical fifth quarter as Delta topped the Huskies, 25-19.
Panthers’ quarterback Mitchell Whiteside hit his brother, David, for a 10-yard touchdown pass on Delta’s first overtime possession.
Battle Mountain came down to a third-and-goal situation from the 14, and quarterback Jake Engle’s pass intended for Cody Hervert was intercepted. According to the radio account, the Battle Mountain coaching staff was looking for a flag for pass interference on Hervert.
What is certainly not in dispute is that Huskies are playing much better football in the last two weeks since the return of Engle from a preseason leg injury, though Battle Mountain’s 1-7 record doesn’t show it.
Engle and the Huskies offense struggled Friday night as a torrential downpour turned Delta’s field into quagmire. Battle Mountain’s offense didn’t score a touchdown until sometime late in the fourth quarter – Delta’s scoreboard went off in the first half and time was kept by the officials.
Battle Mountain’s Chris Libertini started things in glorious fashion returning the opening kickoff for 94 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead. Delta answered with a touchdown march, but missed the extra point.
As conditions deteriorated, both offenses struggled to hang on to the ball, much less move it. Battle Mountain couldn’t pass much and had fits out of its shot-gun offense, especially in the second half, with botched snaps. Meanwhile, there was pretty much no footing and Delta’s rushing game bogged down, though the Huskies’ defense played very well.
Delta converted one Engle’s four interceptions – hard to blame the Huskies QB here – into a touchdown for 13-7 lead. Eric Weiss scored Battle Mountain’s first defensive touchdown of the season on pick-six for 30 yards to tie it at 13 at the half.
Neither side could move the ball during the water-logged second half. Nolan Britain returned a Battle Mountain punt to the Huskies’ 3 and the Panthers scored from there for a 19-3 advantage.
After ditching the shotgun, Battle Mountain mounted a late drive for the second straight week. The Huskies converted on fourth-and-15 on a pass from Engle to Reeve Sanders. On fourth-and-10 from the Delta 25, the Huskies did get a call from the refs as they threw a pass-interference flag, giving Battle Mountain a new set of downs on the Panthers’ 12.
Libertini ran it in for the score to tie it at 19. The Huskies opted for the PAT, but the snap sailed high in the bad weather leaving it tied.
The Huskies are at Steamboat Springs Friday.
Glenwood Springs 33, Eagle Valley 6
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Eagle Valley’s Miguel Dominguez broke up the shoutout, scoring with 43 seconds left Friday night in the Devils’ 33-6 loss at Glenwood Springs.
Eagle Valley (2-5) hosts Moffat County Friday at 7 p.m. at Hot Stuff Stadium for Senior Night.
Chris Freud is the sports editor of the Vail Daily. He can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614, or via firstname.lastname@example.org.