Palisade football pounds Steamboat in first conference game
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Ben Sargent can kick the heck out of a football. With six seconds left in the first quarter, the Palisade senior booted the ball 40 yards between the uprights. The make put the Bulldogs up 24-0.
He never missed a point-after attempt, helping his team reap a 45-7 victory over Steamboat Springs High School on Friday, Oct. 11, at Gardner Field.
“He’s kicked a lot more than that,” Palisade head coach Joe Ramunno said. “He kicked two 47’s earlier in the year. Great leg. We lined up last week trying to kick a 58, so he can kick them.”
Ramunno said the game was a bit of a homecoming for him, as he went to Steamboat Springs High School and played on the 1979 state championship team, which was honored on Friday, 40 years removed from their victory.
“All the boys, I got to see them. It was pretty special,” he said. “This is God’s country right here, now. I love it here.”
Three plays into the Western Slope League matchup, Bulldogs senior quarterback Cam Tucker found senior tight end Logan Harris with a 25-yard pass to get Palisade on the board. Of course, Sargent nailed the point-after attempt, which went right down the middle.
He followed with the first of many kickoffs. Every single one sailed into the end zone, putting the Sailors on the 20 each time. Field position didn’t help or hurt the Sailors, as a first down was hard to come by. On the first three-and-out, Steamboat realized rushing yards would be difficult to earn. So, freshman quarterback Cade Gedeon had to throw.
Gedeon at QB was evidence that Steamboat is suffering from a wave of injuries. Senior quarterback Tanner Raper suffered a concussion and is out for the season, putting the freshman under center for the first time since the home opener.
Senior Jevon Hovey kicking was another hint that the Sailors were hurting. Typical kicker Jack Tracy was out with a sprained ankle.
“We moved some kids around, Jackson Beal went from tight end and played guard. We were playing a couple (junior varsity) kids on our offensive line,” Steamboat Springs head coach Shawn Baumgartner said. “Our effort, I couldn’t ask for anything more this year.”
Taking advantage of the inexperienced players, the Bulldogs built a 38-0 lead at the half.
It took nearly three quarters for the Sailors to bust out of the suffocating Palisade defense. With a running clock, junior James Lahram broke through the line and turned on the jets near midfield. He hauled 80 total yards before crossing into the end zone as the clock struck 2:53.
“This was his first varsity football game,” Baumgartner said. “He came out a little bit late, so we got him in a little bit in our last game and he’s coming on. It’s good to have.”
The Sailors recovered a pair of fumbles, both in the red zone. The last of which set up Steamboat’s longest and greatest drive yet. Gedeon targeted sophomore Ben Bogan with a 40-yard pass before finding sophomore Cody Mousley with another pass.
Steamboat had time for one more play. Gedeon stepped back in the pocket. He had plenty of time, hurled the ball towards newcomer Hovey, but it was out of his reach.
The buzzer sounded, bringing Steamboat’s record to 2-4, while Palisade earned it’s first league victory and moved to 3-3.
“We talk all the time, the only thing you can control is your attitude and your effort, and I think both of those were great tonight,” Baumgartner said.
Palisade 45, Steamboat Springs 7
P 24 14 7 0 — 45
SS 0 0 7 0 — 7
P — Logan Harris 25 pass from Cam Tucker, Ben Sargent PAT, 11:03
P — Tucker 21 rush, Sargent PAT, 8:10
P — Franklin Barks 35 rush, Sargent PAT, 2:33
P — Sargent 40-yard field goal, 0:06
P — Gabe Harrison interception return, PAT, 11:53
P — Harris 28 pass from Tucker, Sargent PAT, 5:47
P — Julio Rodriguez 2 rush, Sargent PAT, 5:26
SS — James Lahram 80 rush, Jevon Hovey PAT, 2:53
- Aug. 30: vs. Manual W 33-26
- Sept. 6: vs. Cedaredge, L 21-13
- Sept 13: vs. Moffat County, L 42-13
- Sept. 20: at Middle Park, W 21-7
- Sept. 27: at Hotchkiss, L 41-6
- Oct. 11: vs. Palisade, L 45-7
- Oct. 18: at Battle Mountain, W 20-13
- Oct. 25: vs. Summit, L 19-7
- Nov. 1: at Eagle Valley, L 35-14
- Nov. 8: vs. Glenwood Springs, L 44-0
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