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Tigers rush past Steamboat, 35-7

Summit High School quarterback Jacob Gillum eludes a pack of Steamboat Springs defenders Friday at Gardner Field in Steamboat. The Tigers rushed the ball all night and racked up a 35-7 victory against the Sailors.
Joel Reichenberger

— Persistent first-half penalties helped slow the Summit High School football team’s offense on Friday as Steamboat Springs tried to get a win in its first home game of the season.

The Tigers fixed the glitch in the second half.

Summit scored three times in the third quarter and added another touchdown in the fourth to run away with a win in Steamboat on Friday night 35-7.

The Tigers did it with a powerful running attack — 309 yards — and an offense that proved just diverse enough. Senior tailback Adolfo Vasquez led the way, racking up 116 yards on 15 carries and scoring two touchdowns.

Senior Matthew Francomano and junior David Birmingham-Smith also scored rushing touchdowns and helped ensure, especially in the second half, Summit could find a good run when it needed one, keeping drives alive and the pressure on the Sailors.

“They were quick. They knew what holes they were hitting. They’re experienced and they’re strong,” Steamboat senior Matthew Hansen said.

The game dropped Steamboat to 0-2 on the season.

Steamboat’s big highlights came in the fourth quarter, literally from the first play of it.

Junior quarterback Nate Roach connected with classmate Canon Reece for a 68-yard touchdown pass, Reece flying down the seam for the Sailors’ biggest — longest and most important — offensive play of the season.

That made the score 28-7. Summit answered back on the ensuing drive with a touchdown, ensuring things wouldn’t get interesting, but the score was a spark Steamboat was desperately looking for.

The Sailors tallied only 25 yards of offense and two first downs in the first half. Running backs couldn’t get any momentum and the passing offense sputtered with a combination of errant throws, clumsy drops and defensive pressure.

“We were working our rears off in the first half. We just need to find our rhythm a little quicker and we’ll be fine,” Roach said.

They did find that momentum in the fourth quarter.

The touchdown to Reece was Steamboat’s first offensive score of the season, breaking a seven-quarter drought. It seemed to spark the team, too.

Roach connected with Matthew Hansen for a 40-yard pass on the next drive. Hansen then broke free for 37 more yards rushing the ball later in the quarter.

“We found some passes to exploit their corners,” Roach said. “ “We didn’t quit. We kept pushing forward and that’s what you’re looking for. The wins will come if we just keep doing that.”

The Sailors two losses this season have both come against teams they beat last year. They beat Summit 38-0 in 2015.

The encouraging element for Steamboat is, while those may have been league games in the past, they’re not this year, and in fact, Steamboat’s playing above its classification. The Sailors dropped from 3A to 2A for this season.

Steamboat returns to the field after a week off to play at home against Glenwood, then hits the road to Conifer, two more 3A teams. After that, it’ll finally dive into the Class 2A league schedule Sept. 30 with a trip to Basalt.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9


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