Steamboat Springs football shut out in season finale |

Steamboat Springs football shut out in season finale

Luke Graham

Steamboat's Mitch McCannon is dragged down by a pair of Delta defenders Friday night. Steamboat lost, 35-0.

— There isn't much questioning the strength of football in the Western Slope League.

After the 16-team playoff bracket is unveiled Sunday, it's feasible four teams from the Western Slope will dot the field.

But how good is Delta?

The little-known town often is overshadowed in 3A. But with a ho-hum 35-0 win against Steamboat Springs on Friday, the Panthers secured second place in the league and almost are assured of moving up from 13th in the wild-card standings.

"You get into the playoffs, and a lot of it's matchups," Delta coach Ben Johnson said. "We like our kids. Offense and defense, we will go play hard."

That sums up a dangerous Panthers team. After stumbling out of the gates, no team — outside of Rifle maybe — has been more impressive.

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Delta lost to Rifle, 21-0, last week — the closest any team has come to the undefeated Bears. The number 21 jumps out because it was more than 22 points lower than Rifle's season average.

That nasty defense was on display Friday. The Panthers held the Sailors to 168 yards of total offense, controlled the clock and won the field possession battle.

After jumping out to a 14-0 lead in the first half, the Panthers didn't have to do anything special on offense.

The back-breaking job came to open the second half. Delta went 66 yards in five plays — all runs — to take a 21-0 lead.

"They're great against the run, and their pass coverage is good," Steamboat coach Lonn Clementson said. "Some days, the person across from you is bigger, faster and stronger. We ran into that tonight and a lot these last couple of years."

The Panthers added two fourth-quarter touchdowns for the end result.

Zach Decker had 114 yards on 16 carries, while quarterback Mitchel Whiteside threw for 137 yards and two touchdowns. Whiteside had two more touchdowns running.

Mitch McCannon led Steamboat with 60 yards on nine carries.

Football became secondary late in the third quarter, when Sailors wide receiver Skyler Kauf was taken off the field in an ambulance after getting tackled. Kauf gave the thumbs up before entering the ambulance.

"Skyler's going to be OK," Clementson said. "As far as I know, he's going to do well."

The win puts Delta at 7-3 overall as the team waits for its playoff positioning. Steamboat ends the season 4-6, with 12 seniors departing the field for the final time.

"I just love the fact they can't wait to see us succeed," Clementson said. "The seniors are all about what people should strive to be."

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email

Game statistics

Delta 35, Steamboat 0

Delta Steamboat

15 First Downs 9

39-232 Rushes-Yards 32-113

10-15-1 Comp-Att-Int 7-21-2

137 Yards Passing 55

369 Total Yards 168

5-34 Punts-Avg. 6-39

2-0 Fumbles-lost 1-0

4-30 Penalties-Yards 5-35

■ Score by quarters

Delta 14-00-07-14—35

Steamboat 00-00-00-00—56

■ Scoring summary

First quarter

D: 7:58, Mitchel Whiteside 1 run. (Alex Quintero kick).

D: 1:17, Ryan Whiteside 16 pass from Mitchel Whiteside. (Quintero kick).

Second quarter


Third quarter

D: 10:13, Robert WIlliams 4 run. (Quintero kick).

Fourth quarter

D: 11:14, Mitchel Whiteside 1 run. (Quintero kick).

D: 5:36, Chris Black 25 pass from Mitchel Whiteside. (Quintero kick).

■ Individual statistics


D: Zach Decker 16-114; Williams 7-47, 1 TD; Tyler Sandoval 3-14; M. Whiteside 7-23, 2 TD; Easton Byers 2-5; Derek Horn 3-29.

S: Christian Ramirez 11-15; Mitch McCannon 9-60; Nick Harris 11-37; Billy Clark 1-4.


D: M. Whiteside 10-15-1, 137 yards, 2 TD.

S: Ramirez 7-21-2, 55 yards.


D: R. Whiteside 3-45, 1 TD; Douglas Hawkins 2-13; Black 5-79, 1 TD.

S: Kauf 3-33; Clark 1-1; McCannon 3-21.