Sailors football dazzles in homecoming victory over Aspen
The atmosphere of a homecoming football game is like no other.
The energy was high and the lights shined bright on Steamboat Springs football as it earned its third victory of the season with a 34-21 win over Aspen on Friday, Sept. 23 from Gardner Field.
The Sailors started hot thanks to two early field goals in the first quarter off the foot of junior Charlie Reisman.
Steamboat kept that momentum alive in the second quarter when senior Cade Gedeon found senior receiver Austin Moore with a 12-yard touchdown pass, giving Steamboat a 13-0 lead.
Aspen struggled offensively in the first half, taking only one drive into Steamboat territory.
The visiting Skiers brought the ball all the way into the red zone, threatening to score. A pass tipped by an Aspen receiver floated in the air toward the left sideline and was picked off by Steamboat senior Jack Fortna, who took the ball 90 yards the other way for a pick-six and a 20-0 lead at halftime.
This is Fortna’s first year playing football and he says the support he has from his teammates is what keeps him going.
“I saw him tip it with his hands and I knew right then I was gonna catch it,” Fortna said. “I didn’t know I would make it all the way but when I got to the 50 I knew it was mine. Once I got in the endzone, I felt so emotional. I was ready to cry.”
Steamboat did not skip a beat to start the second half and quickly, senior quarterback Jesse Hamric found Gedeon in the endzone for a 20-yard touchdown pass.
Gedeon was ecstatic to record both a passing and receiving touchdown in his final Steamboat homecoming game, but was even more excited just to come out on top.
“My freshman year we lost 40-0, the next year we got beat pretty bad and then last year we won by three but it felt really good to look up at 34-0,” Gedeon said. “We kinda let loose a little bit but it was great, I’m really happy.”
The Sailors created as much as a 34 point lead into the fourth quarter but gave up three late Aspen touchdowns, making it 34-21.
Head coach Jay Hamric thought his boys got a lot of fuel from the students and fans that came out to cheer. He said the team played well in all three phases of the game and was proud that they put on a show for the home crowd.
Steamboat, now 3-1, takes to the road on Friday, Sept. 30, to play a strong Eaton team that shares the same record. Gedeon said it will be a tough test, but is a great way to kick off the back half of the season schedule.
“We’re going to enjoy this one,” Hamric said. “Homecoming is homecoming and this is something that these boys and the coaches will remember their whole lives. We want to enjoy that but we know Eaton is ranked second in the state, back-to-back state champions, they’re the standard of 2A football so we’re just gonna have to keep being physical.”
Steamboat Springs 34, Aspen 21
SS 6 14 7 7
A 0 0 0 21
To reach Tom Skulski, call 970-871-4240, email tskulski@SteamboatPilot.com.
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