Vail Valley preps: Huskies fall to Classical Academy, 42-7
EDWARDS – That was a nasty case of deja vu.
Last week, Battle Mountain led early against Roaring Fork only to give up some big plays on the way to a 42-20 loss.
Friday night in their home opener against Classical Academy, the Huskies again had an early 7-0 advantage, only to see the visiting Titans rip off two big plays on consecutive possessions on their way to a 42-7 win at Battle Mountain in Edwards.
“They executed early on. We give too many freebies away,” said Huskies coach David Joyce, who team fell to 1-2. “We gave them the momentum right back on the next play, which was the exact thing as last week when we were up 14-0 against Roaring Fork. All the momentum we just earned, we give right back to them.”
Chris Libertini had just given the Huskies a 7-0 lead on a 5-yard touchdown run with 1:29 left in the first quarter. Battle Mountain’s Cody Hervert boomed the kickoff through the end zone for a touchback, putting the Titans on their own 20. Classical Academy needed only one play to go 80 yards to tie the game – quarterback Brice Queener to Eric Wermouth.
The Huskies went three-and-out, and the next time around, the Titans needed two plays. Queener hit Ben Blaha for 34 yards, but the killer was a screen pass to junior Chris Beck, who rambled 48 yards through the Battle Mountain defense.
The Huskies seemed well set up to defense the play, but no one could wrap up Beck and he and the Titans were off to the races.
In fairness, Battle Mountain’s defense had to worry about Queener’s mobility as well. He rushed for 53 yards alone on the Titans’ third scoring drive that gave the visitors a 21-7 lead at the half. Yet as the game wore on, the Huskies’ defense continued to struggle.
Queener had two more rushing touchdowns in the second half. His replacement, Logan Floyd, fired a 24-yard touchdown pass to wrap the scoring as the Titans moved to 3-0.
Battle Mountain’s offense looked surprisingly sharp early, given all the hits it’s been taking. Still without starting quarterback Jake Engle and with Libertini returning from a leg injury last week against Roaring Fork, the Huskies, nonetheless, got rolling early.
Quarterback Eric Weiss faked the handoff to Libertini and then zipped up the middle for a 51-yard gain on Battle Mountain’s second drive of the game. He completed a nice 10-yard pass for a first down to Reeve Sanders in the red zone, setting up Libertini’s touchdown jaunt.
As is totally understandable for a quarterback thrown into the fray after Engle went down one week before the season began, there were a few times he didn’t read the Classical Academy defense, and he paid for it dearly.
The focus shifts to the 3A Slope with Rifle coming to town next week, the focus shifts to the running game at Battle Mountain.
“We’re going to work on running the ball little bit better between the tackles,” Joyce said. “Hopefully, we can run the ball a bit better to help Eric Weiss out. He’s getting better.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.