Vail Valley preps: Devils run past Summit for 39-28 win
GYPSUM – Both Eagle Valley and Summit County football were shut out in Week 1.
Both teams lost their starting quarterback Friday night – the Tigers’ Jason Looby went down with a knee injury and the Devils’ Jeremy Sabo with a possible collar-bone break.
So naturally, the two teams went up and down the field like it was track meet at Gypsum’s Hot Stuff Stadium with the Devils coming away with a 39-28 win Friday night.
And thus, Eagle Valley coach John Ramunno led his squad in the “Ain’t it great to be a Devil?” cheer for the first time on the new turf, installed in 2009, at Hot Stuff Stadium.
“It felt so good,” said Devils senior Matt Kottenstette, who had a huge night rushing for Eagle Valley. “It’s been too long. There’s no better feeling than that.”
Eagle Valley’s lone win last year was way down in Cortez, so the Devils last win in Gypsum came back in 2008 against Delta on grass for the trivia buffs.
Win No. 1 of 2010 was memorable for many things. First off, the Devils overcame multiple deficits including a 14-0 hole at the start of the game.
Summit scored on its first drive, capped by a 9-yard run by Cody Holland. Eagle Valley looked impressive on its first drive, but fumbled on the Tigers’ 5. The visitors wasted no time marching 95 yards. The big blow was a 40-yard TD pass by Looby to Tyler Nelson, and Devils fans couldn’t be blamed for getting flashbacks of the team’s 27-0 loss at Coal Ridge last week.
“Last week, we got scored on early and our heads dropped,” Ramunno said. “We talked about that all week. We were down, 14-0, and we got right back into it.”
With 5:59 left in the half, the Devils got their first touchdown of the season, a 1-yard rumble by Tanner Hollis. In that second quarter, both starting quarterbacks went down, but Eagle Valley’s James Van Dyke was ready to go. He found Ian Bailey for 28-yard scoring strike, sending both teams into the locker room tied at 14.
Summit came out gambling in the second half with an onside kick it recovered. Tigers back-up quarterback Nic Berry played very admirably, leading Summit down the field for a 36-yard drive. Michael Daigle gave the Tigers a 21-14 lead with a 10-yard scamper.
Kottenstette, who finished with more than 150 yards rushing, responded with a 10-yard score of his own. Summit needed only three plays on its next drive, which was essentially a beautifully-executed third down screen from Berry to Daigle for 65 yards to take the lead at 28-21.
Van Dyke sparked the Devils with a 30-yard strike to Damien Montes on third down of their next possession. From there, it was a steady dose of the double wing with Nikk Soto doing the honors. Eagle missed the PAT and still trailed 28-27.
After the defense got a stop, Soto, Montes and Kottenstette all pounded away and Hollis plunged into the end zone giving Eagle Valley its first lead at 33-28 after the two-point conversion failed.
“Our team has a lot of heart tonight to come back like that,” Kottenstette said. “It’s hard when you start out like that. You kind of get down. We didn’t get down. We kept pushing.”
And the Eagle Valley defense stepped up. Zeth Ramsey sniffed out a Summit fake punt, giving the Devils the ball on downs. From the Tigers’ 32, Kottenstette needed only two touches to find the end zone again.
The only thing wrong with that score was that maybe it came a little too quickly because the Tigers still had about three minutes left on the clock. No matter, the Devils defense stiffened on its own 37-yard line, forcing three incomplete passes before Ian Baily iced the win with an interception.
“James Van Dyke did a great job coming in,” Ramunno said. “We were able to run the ball really effectively, so we didn’t have to worry about tossing the ball. But he threw some nice passes. I was happy to see our kids rally, even though we gave up a few big plays. It’s fun to get a win on the turf. We’ll take a win and build on it.”
Eagle Valley (1-1) has a bye week before heading up to Steamboat Sept. 24.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.