Gedeon to Gedeon: Young quarterback leads Sailors to season-opening victory
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Pompoms and sparkly bows bounce on the sideline. Long shadows stretch on the turf while pink clouds dot a lavender sky. The clatter of shoes on bleachers is joined by shrieking cheers. Helmets gleam from the bright white field lights on a Friday night.
High school football is back.
While the image of a Friday night football game is something beautiful, the Steamboat Springs’ first game was ugly. At least the start was.
Navigating a sloppy start, the Sailors won their season opener over the Thunderbolts, 33-26 from Gardner Field on Friday, Aug. 30.
An early three-and-out and a failed punt allowed Manual to score on a 14-yard drive just moments into the evening.
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For most of the first frame, both teams seemed determined to rack up as many penalty yards as possible, rather than points, with many offsides and false starts, a few encroachment calls and even a pass interference.
“Sometimes you know, first game, things are moving a lot faster than what you’re used to,” Steamboat head coach Shawn Baumgartner said. “There was a lot of penalties on both teams tonight. Those are things we got to shear up. I think some of your biggest improvements are between week one and week two coming into next week.”
- Aug. 30: vs. Manual, W 33-26
- Sept. 6: vs. Cedaredge, 7 p.m.
- Sept 13: vs. Moffat County, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 20: at Middle Park, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 27: at Hotchkiss, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 11: vs. Palisade, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 18: at Battle Mountain, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 25: vs. Summit, 7 p.m.
- Nov. 1: at Eagle Valley, 7 p.m.
- Nov. 8: vs. Glenwood Springs, 7 p.m.
Perhaps the Sailors couldn’t drive stick. Maybe their incessant stalling would allow Manual to pick up an automatic win.
With less than a minute left in the first quarter, senior running back Finn Russel put the Sailors in scoring position. As they had been doing all quarter, Steamboat committed a false start on the next play. Down 6-0 and feeling the pressure to get on the board, they lined up, again drawing a flag for a false start. Once gain, they stepped back five yards, and for the third play in a row, jumped too early.
With mere seconds on the clock, freshman quarterback Cade Gedeon stepped back out of the pocket, toes not far from the 40-yard line. He ripped the ball to the right corner of the field where his brother, senior receiver Cole Gedeon, leapt up and collected it. He dodged two ensuing players, running into the end zone. A kick from Finn Russell put the Sailors up 7-6 at the end of one.
“I think Cade really settled down, played a great game for a freshman, first high school football game,” Baumgartner said. “I think he felt comfortable with his brother out there. It’s a great connection.”
The Sailors couldn’t keep the Thunderbolts off the board in the weaning seconds of the half, as senior quarterback Tavon Tolliver scrambled in for his first of two quarterback-keeper touchdowns.
The flag flew less often in the second quarter, and the scoring increased.
In a critical third down play, Cade Gedeon found Cole Gedeon again, a first down that set up a Russell rushing score.
The Sailors recovered the ensuing kickoff, pushed up the field after a called-back pick six, and Russell ran into the end zone once more.
Russell ended the night with three touchdown runs, with the younger Gedeon finding the older Gedeon for two total scoring passes. The freshman quarterback was ultimately impressive in his varsity debut.
“I was gonna throw up at school a few times today. It was really nerve-wracking,” Cade Gedeon said. “But after that first touchdown, it was good.”
Steamboat Springs 33, Manual 26
M 6 6 0 14
SS 7 12 7 7
M — Tank Davis pass from Tayvon Tolliver, conversion no good, 6:40
SS — Cole Gedeon pass from Cade Gedeon, Finn Russell kick, 0:00
SS — Finn Russell rush, PAT no good
SS — Russell rush, conversion no good
M — Tolliver rush, conversion no good, 0:06
SS — Russell rush, Russell kick, 6:11
SS — Cole Gedeon pass from Cole Gedeon, Russell kick, 8:45
M — Tolliver rush, conversion no good, 4:38
M — Tolliver rush, conversion good, 0:16
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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