‘A hell of a football team’: Sailors conclude season with tough loss to Coal Ridge | SteamboatToday.com

‘A hell of a football team’: Sailors conclude season with tough loss to Coal Ridge

Steamboat Springs players cheer on the sidelines during the senior game against Coal Ridge on Friday night at Gardner Field. (Photo by Shelby Reardon)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — All of Gardner Field held its breath as the referees motioned for the chains to come out and measure whether the Steamboat Springs High School football team earned a first down. On fourth down with one minute and 20 seconds left to play, Steamboat trailed 12-7 to Coal Ridge. The measurement would decide the game.

Sailors senior Finn Russell appeared to have gotten the first down, but it was too close to call.

The chain carrier pulled to extend the chain. The stadium fell silent, then the chain broke. Once back in place, they pulled the chain taught once more. It was so close, no one knew what the call was. Finally, the referee stood and motioned Coal Ridge.

The call ultimately decided the 12-7 game Friday night.

“We were within an inch and a half maybe,” said Steamboat Springs head coach Mike Appel. “An inch and a half cost us our whole season. Well, it didn’t cost us the season, it just cost us that game. Unfortunately, that’s sometimes the way it goes.”

The game was decided by that measurement, as well as two big plays.

“Both the times they scored were on big plays,” said Sailors senior Cash Meyring. “They didn’t put together any methodical drives. They just got two big plays, which sucks, but that happens. It’s part of the game of football.”

The Titans scored first midway through the second with a 30-yard pass to senior Danny Salas with 7:48 left in the second quarter.

With just under five minutes to play, Coal Ridge junior Brandon Short broke loose to score a 78-yard touchdown, giving the Titans a 12-7 lead with 4:51 to play.

“Tonight was the story of our season,” said senior James Lahrman. “We’re a hell of a football team, we work our butts off and we’ve just been losing games to really bad, unlucky plays and it’s a bummer.”

Other than those two plays, Steamboat dominated. Steamboat was the better team, and it was more evident than ever early in the fourth quarter.

The bleachers rattled as the fans collectively stomped their feet. Steamboat was on a defensive roll and Coal Ridge was in a fourth and goal situation.

Titans quarterback Ryder Powell threw towards the end zone, and Steamboat senior Jameson Tracy grabbed the ball and ran. The interception prevented Coal Ridge from scoring, maintained the 7-6 Steamboat lead and put the Sailors on the 25-yard line to start their next drive.

The series of plays leading up to the interception showcased the Steamboat defense and a few of the seniors that were honored that evening.

On the last play of the third quarter, Steamboat stopped Coal Ridge on the doorstep. After switching ends for the fourth quarter, senior Chris Morris nearly had an interception on second down. A huge tackle by senior Ivan Reynolds on third down forced fourth down. The Titans jumped the gun and walked backwards. Then, they decided to kick. The attempt was poor to say the least, but the Sailors were penalized for roughing the kicker, setting up a fourth-and-goal on the five yard line.

“This was a great team. For what CHSAA gave us this year, we came out and we delivered,” said Meyring. “No quit every single play this year. I’m very proud of these boys.”

Steamboat finished the season 1-4, but they scored in every game this year and even in the losses, showed they could play strong and cohesively.

““These kids battled to the bitter end,” said Appel. “I’m proud of everything they’ve done and accomplished. They’re all going to do very well in life. I can tell you that.”

Coal Ridge 12, Steamboat Springs 7

CR 0 6 0 6 – 12

SS 0 7 0 0 – 7

First quarter

No scoring.

Second quarter

CR – Danny Salas 30 pass from Karsen Dubois, PAT no good, 7:48

SS – Finn Russell 2 rush, Charlie Reisman PAT, 2:14

Third quarter

No scoring.

Fourth quarter

CR – Brandon Short 78 rush, PAT no good, 4:51

Steamboat football schedule

March 20 - versus Montezuma-Cortez L 12-3

March 27 - versus Basalt, L 34-14

April 2 - at Salida, W 38-0

April 10 - at Aspen, L 22-7

April 16 - versus Coal Ridge, L 2-3

A Coal Ridge player breaks free of the crowd for a long run during the senior game at Steamboat Springs on Friday night at Gardner Field. (Photo by Shelby Reardon)

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