Vail Valley preps: Devils sink Steamboat Springs, 21-12 |

Vail Valley preps: Devils sink Steamboat Springs, 21-12

Luke Graham
Vail, CO Colorado
Eagle Valley High School senior Rafeal Macias runs up the field during the first half of Friday night's game against Steamboat Springs.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – When opportunity knocked, the Eagle Valley football team was at the door while Steamboat Springs was nowhere to be found.

That one glaring reason was why Eagle Valley walked away from Gardner Field Friday night with its first win against Steamboat Springs since 2006, a 21-12 triumph in the 3A Slope opener for both schools.

Given opportunities and the Devils took advantage, whereas Steamboat, while showing signs of growing as a team after three weeks of getting blown out, couldn’t do anything when given its chances.

Eagle Valley put together three long prolonged drives – two for scores and one to end the game – and got a 70-yard fumble return by senior Bryce Stegall to get the win.

Conversely Steamboat failed on fourth down four times inside Eagle Valley territory, including three times inside the red zone and twice inside the Devils 10-yard line.

“Hey, we1re happy as heck,” Devils coach John Ramunno said. “We had to work until October last year to get our first league win. Here we are in September and we got two wins. We’re tickled pink and one of them is a league win.2

The Devils started the scoring early in the second quarter when Stegall came away from a scrum and the 250-pounder barreled 70 yards for a score and 7-0 lead.

On the ensuing Steamboat possession, the Sailors moved the ball inside the Devils’ 10-yard line. Steamboat had four cracks from the Eagle 5-yard line and couldn’t produce any points.

Eagle Vailley then put together a 12-play, 95-yard drive, capped with a Matt Kottnestette 2-yard run. The successful 2-point conversion made it 15-0.

Steamboat bounced back with a Charles Wood 65-yard touchdown run where he started up the right side before scoring inside the left pylon to cut it to 15-6.

“A couple plays could have changed the game,” said Steamboat running back John Burrow, who had 106 yards on 17 carries. “We feel a little bit better. I’m sure we1ll feel a little better later in the week, but not right now.”

At the beginning of the second half the Sailors put together a 16-play drive only to see it come up empty on fourth down from the Eagle Valley 6-yard line.

The Devils fumbled on the very next play giving the Sailors back the ball.

Wood ran another one in, this time from 7-yards out to make it 21-12 with 3: 55 left in the third quarter. After forcing the Devils to punt, the Sailors had a 13-play drive again end on downs at the Eagle Valley 18-yard line.

With 8:40 left in the fourth quarter, the Devils put together their lone solid drive of the second half.

After a three-and-out, a five-play drive and a fumble, the Devils did what they needed to do. Eagle Valley picked up six first downs, ran 16 plays and used up all 8:40 to get the win.

Eagle Valley (2-1 overall and 1-0 in the Slope) next plays at 7 p.m. Friday at home against Rifle.

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