Huskies overpower Sailors in season opener
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Battle Mountain High School football team was in such control of things for three quarters Friday in Steamboat Springs, the Huskies likely would have had to be consulted had the concession stand wanted to change the price of a soda.
They rode that control, made possible by an utterly dominant running attack, to a 34-9 victory against the Sailors.
In the fourth quarter, however, Steamboat managed to build some momentum, not enough to compete Friday, but enough to send the squad off the field with a smile.
“That meant a lot,” said Steamboat coach Shawn Baumgartner after his first game as head coach of the team.
The Sailors were stymied on offense through three quarters, limited to only 10 yards of offense. They’d struggled to open holes when rushing and seen too many passes slip off fingertips when passing.
They’d gotten a huge opportunity late in the first half, when Sailors’ defensive end Finn Russell sacked the Battle Mountain quarterback, causing a fumble deep in Husky territory. Steamboat sophomore Lowen Epstein fell on the loose ball a foot from the goal line, giving the Sailors a shot to pull close with a touchdown.
One penalty and three plays later, the team was at the 3-yard line, where it settled for a field goal from Riley McCannon.
It was that kind of night for much of the game, but as the clock wore down, the Sailors tightened up, and midway through the fourth, they finally connected on one of those “almost” passes. Junior quarterback Drew Bowers hit junior Johnathon Kaminski 15 yards down the field. Kaminski slipped through a pair of defenders, got to the sideline and rocketed 74 yards for a touchdown.
“That’s something we can build on,” Baumgartner said. “We got those big plays. We got some stops on defense. They were tough up front, but we battled. I was really proud of the way we rallied and hung together.”
That wasn’t enough to hold off a strong running attack from Battle Mountain. Charlie Morrow, with three touchdowns, and Camden Dooley, scoring one, ran behind an offensive line that kept the Sailors’ defense on their heels.
It wasn’t complex, and it didn’t show off anything from deep in the playbook, but it worked.
“We were all blocking,” Dooley said. “We ran a few plays, and they worked, so we kept going with them.”
Steamboat returns to the field Friday with a trip to play at Summit.
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