Steamboat falls just short of victory on homecoming night |

Steamboat falls just short of victory on homecoming night

Steamboat Springs High School junior Tanner Raper catches a touchdown pass on Friday, Oct. 12 at Gardner Field. The Sailors went into halftime trailing 21-18 after Raper’s touchdown. (Photo by Leah Vann)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Records never matter going into a rivalry game.

Steamboat Springs High School (2-4, 0-1) proved that, putting points on the board first against Battle Mountain (5-1, 1-0) in the first quarter. But the Sailors would ultimately come up just short of their rivals, falling 35-33.

The Sailors opened up on their own 40-yard line, enjoying a lengthy drive downfield before senior quarterback Drew Bowers punched in a 4-yard touchdown run to make it 6-0.

The Huskies responded quickly. Senior quarterback Traver Goldberg connected with junior Kiah Gongaware on a 40-yard pass, then allowed Gongaware to punch in the touchdown. After stopping the Sailors, junior Victor Ortiz followed with a touchdown run to extend the Huskies’ lead 14-6.

Steamboat football

Aug. 24: at Manual, W 24-12
Aug. 31: at Cedaredge, L 34-26
Sept. 7: at Moffat County, L 21-14
Sept. 14: vs. Middle Park, L 27-20
Sept. 21: vs. Hotchkiss, W 40-7
Oct. 4: at Palisade, L 49-20
Oct. 12: vs. Battle Mountain, L 35-33
Oct. 19: at Summit, L 35-21
Oct. 26: vs. Eagle Valley, W 54-53
Nov. 2: at Glenwood Springs, 7 p.m.

All wasn’t lost. Sailors junior Tanner Raper and Bowers seemed to find their groove. Bowers connected with Raper on a 15-yard touchdown slant to bring the score within two, 14-12.

But, the Sailors couldn’t stop the Huskies from driving again, where Goldberg snagged another touchdown on a quarterback sneak.

Raper followed up with another touchdown reception from 10 yards out in the fade to close the first half, making it a one-score ball game 28-21.

The problem with the Sailors was their failure to make extra points, which ultimately led them to come up short at the end of the game.

Battle Mountain scored its final touchdown in the third quarter, and it would be enough for a victory.

The Sailors forced a key turnover on downs with 9 minutes, 15 seconds left in the fourth quarter for a chance to contend for a comeback. The Huskies answered by forcing them to fourth down. Bowers backed out of the pocket, rolled out to his right and threw the ball down 10 yards to senior Johnathon Kaminski for a first down.

Kaminski took control of that drive, following up with another first-down catch and touchdown reception to put the Sailors within three of the Huskies. The Sailors followed up, making their first extra point of the night to bring the score within 2 with fewer than five minutes left.

Had the Sailors made two of their extra points, or the two-point conversion on Raper’s second touchdown, the ball game would’ve been tied.

But the Sailors were unable to stop the Huskies on their final drive, falling victim to their running game in the final minutes. The Huskies made it to the red zone before the clock ran out and the Sailors hung their heads in another close defeat.

Steamboat Springs High School senior Austin Ban carries the ball against Battle Mountain on Friday, Oct. 12 at Gardner Field. (Photo by Leah Vann)

To reach Leah Vann, call 970-871-4253, email or follow her on Twitter @LVann_Sports.

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