Sailors exorcise Demons in 49-36 victory |

Sailors exorcise Demons in 49-36 victory

Steamboat football rallies for win on the road against Buena Vista

Luke Graham

As a senior leader and big-time player for the Steamboat Springs High School football team, Alex Wood figured it was about time to make a play.

So, after a game that looked like a Steamboat blowout turned into a battle, with Buena Vista having all the momentum, Wood took his place as one of the most feared offensive and defensive weapons on the Western Slope.

It started with 2 minutes, 5 seconds left, when Wood took a pass 69 yards up the left side to set up an Austin Hinder 9-yard game-winning touchdown with 40 seconds left. It ended when Wood returned an interception 38 yards with 12 seconds left to allow Steamboat to leave the field with a 49-36 win.

“I just live for those situations,” Wood said. “It’s so much more fun to come through for your team in situations like that. I realized for me, it’s not worth juking people, so I run over them now. I just put down my head and kept running.”

Wood’s two plays at the end secured what was one of the most consistent offensive performances for Steamboat all year.

While the big play always has been there for the Sailors, Friday they showed that when it matters, they can churn out yards and pick up first downs.

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Steamboat scored on drives of eight, 10 and 11 plays in the first half to build a 22-6 halftime lead.

The first touchdown came on a 3-yard run by Fraser Egan – who got the bulk of the carries, as the Sailors were without the injured Joe Dover.

The next two scores weren’t exactly how you’d draw them up, but the results were flawless. After Buena Vista had closed the gap to 7-6 on a 39-yard run by Larson Greenfield, Steamboat showed just how dangerous the team can be.

The team went up, 15-6, early in the second quarter when Hinder eluded the rush from his left, ran all the way back to the right and found Egan from 13 yards out.

Then, with time running out in the first half, the Sailors lined up for a 31-yard field goal. The snap went over the holder’s head, but senior kicker Jasper Gantick picked up the ball, ran to his left and threw up a prayer that found Cody Harris, who barreled in for a 14-yard score.

“We had to adjust and run some different things,” Steamboat coach Aaron Finch said. “We had to run off tackle, and Fraser did a great job of moving the ball. Austin did a great job running as well.”

After Greenfield scored on another run to close the gap to 22-13 early in the fourth, Steamboat got touchdown runs from Hinder and Dylan Pivarnik to go up, 36-13. The game looked like it was going the way of a blowout, when Greenfield willed his team back into the game.

With two touchdowns already, Greenfield showed why he’s considered one of the most dangerous players in Class 2A.

The senior – who accounted for 304 yards of total offense and five touchdowns -made the game interesting in the fourth quarter.

It started with a 7-yard run with 8:05 left to play. After the Demons got the onside kick, Greenfield threw a perfect strike to Chris Carr for a 23-yard touchdown. After a Sailors three-and-out, Greenfield got the ball again and scampered 30 yards to knot the score at 36.

“He’s fun to watch,” Finch said about Greenfield. “I told him afterwards, I’m going to have nightmares about No. 31 in red running by for the next year. He’s tore up everyone this year, so I guess we’re just part of that large club now.”

But in a close game for the first time since August, Steamboat showed the calmness of a team ready for a deep playoff run. Wood’s heroics sealed the game for the Sailors.

The win sets up a huge showdown at 7 p.m. on Friday against Glenwood Springs at Gardner Field.

Glenwood comes in as the No. 1 team in the state. For Steamboat, a win could mean the No. 2 seed out of the Western Slope League and a home playoff game.

“I feel better because I hope next week is like this,” Wood said. “I know it’s going to be a close game and a battle because of what’s at stake. We just have to keep making defensive stands and keep the offense rolling. They’ll be a faster team and they’re going to want it, so we just have to go out and play.”

– To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail

Game statistics

Steamboat Buena Vista

19 First Downs 17

39-217 Rushes-Yards 42-250

9-11-0 Comp-Att-Int 7-12-2

189 Yards Passing 92

406 Total Yards 342

2-27.5 Punts-Avg. 2-41

4-1 Fumbles-lost 1-0

2-10 Penalties-Yards 0-0


Steamboat 07-15-14-13-49

Buena Vista 06-00-07-23-36


First Quarter

S – 4:34, Fraser Egan 6 run. (Peter Schuette kick)

BV – 2:40, Larson Greenfield 39 run. (Kick fail)

Second Quarter

S – 10:29, Egan 13 pass from Austin Hinder. (Alex Wood from Eric Bonner)

S – 4:28, Cody Harris 14 pass from Jasper Gantick. (Gantick kick)

Third Quarter

BV – 9:33, Greenfield 42 run. (Peter Chambers kick)

S – 3:21, Hinder 8 run. (Gantick kick)

S – 0:53, Dylan Pivarnik 11 run. (Gantick kick)

Fourth Quarter

BV – 8:05, Greenfield 7 run. (Chambers from Greenfield)

BV – 6:07, Chris Carr 23 pass from Greenfield. (Greenfield run)

BV – 2:11, Greenfield 30 run. (Chambers kick)

S – 0:40, Hinder 9 run. (Gantick kick)

S – 0:12, Wood 38 return. (Kick fail)



S: Egan 21-104, 1 TD; Hinder 16-84, 1 TD; Wood 1-18; Pivarnik 1-11, 1 TD. BV: Greenfield 28-212, 4 TD; Carr 8-22; Zach Merrifield 4-6; Spencer Smith 1-10; Matson Schroeder 1-0.


S: Hinder 8-10-0, 175 yards, 1 TD; Gantick 1-1-0, 14 yards, 1 TD.

BV: Greenfield 7-9-1, 92 yards, 1 TD; Tim Allen 0-3-1.


S: Wood 6-149; Egan 1-13, 1 TD; Harris 1-14, 1 TD; Bonner 1-11.

BV: Allen 3-46; Chambers 1-8; Ryan Allen 1-10, Carr 2-28, 1 TD.