Vail Valley preps: Battle Mountain football squeaks by Steamboat Springs, 35-32
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — And now the work really begins.
Battle Mountain moved to 6-1 with a 35-32 win at Steamboat Springs on Friday, Oct. 12. In fairness, the Huskies should probably take a moment to enjoy being 6-1, the team’s best start since 2011.
OK, moment’s over.
The next two weeks will likely tell Battle Mountain football and its fans how good the Huskies are. Glenwood Springs comes to town next week, followed by a trip to Palisade. Yes, Glenwood’s just 2-5, but the Demons have played a powerhouse nonconference schedule.
More specifically, the Demons have had the Huskies’ number, including a 21-14 victory last season down in Glenwood. (Battle Mountain later claimed that as a forfeit win because the Demons had used an ineligible player.)
Palisade is No. 1 in the state in the rating-percentage index, and the Bulldogs strike terror into the hearts of anyone in the Western Slope.
Down 6-0, Nick Walters had a huge kickoff return. Huskies quarterback Traver Goldberg rolled out and hit Shepherd Stone for a 26-yard gain, putting the ball on the Sailors’ 4. Kia Gongaware did the rest on the ground.
On Battle Mountain’s second drive, Gongaware went for 10 yards on a fourth-and-1 on Battle Mountain’s 40, followed by Goldberg to Walter for 26 yards. Eric Biggs and Luke Grimaldi helped pound the ball down to the goal line with Victor Ortiz putting the Huskies up 14-6.
The Huskies seemed to be taking control when Goldberg capped a 65-yard drive by calling his own number for a 21-12 lead. Steamboat, however, closed it to 21-18 on a touchdown pass with one second left in the half.
Battle Mountain still had a hard time closing. Having deferred the coin toss, it got the ball to start the third quarter. The Huskies ran 11 plays and took up more than half of the quarter with Gongaware scoring on a 16-yard scamper.
After the Huskies defense forced a turnover on downs, Battle Mountain launched another long drive with Goldberg hitting Stone for an 8-yard scoring strike and a 35-18 lead.
Having dominated most of the third quarter, Steamboat Springs, nonetheless, scored on a 37-yard pass on 3-and-15 to keep it close at 35-26.
The Sailors, on their next possession, converted twice on fourth down and found the end zone when quarterback Drew Bowers found Jonathan Kaminski to pull within 35-32.
Devils fall at Summit County
Eagle Valley football dropped a 20-7 decision at Summit County to fall 2-5 on the season.
The Devils return home next week to face Palisade.