Sailors win over Demons to secure first winning football season since 2009
Steamboat Springs and Glenwood Springs high schools clashed in a whirlwind of a football game Friday night, going into the fourth quarter tied at 21. The Sailors used third-down conversions and a blocked kick to power past the Demons and win 28-27.
The victory pushed Steamboat’s record to 6-1. Even if the boys in red and black lose the last three games, they’ll still have a winning season — something that hasn’t been done since 2009.
“We’re 6-1. It’s fabulous. I’m just so proud of these boys. They’ve just bought into everything. They believe in themselves. The fan base, mid-October, six inches of snow piled off to the sides, a packed house — it’s a community. … Everyone is supporting us and creating this amazing energy, and we’re just riding this tidal wave of fun,” head coach Jay Hamric said.
Early in the fourth, with the game tied up, Steamboat had the ball on the Demons 35-yard line, the closest any team had come to scoring in the entire second half.
On third-and-8, senior quarterback Jake Hamric aimed and fired to the far sideline where junior receiver Austin Moore was hauling but closely followed by a Demons defender. The crowd held its breath as the ball rose, seemingly in slow motion, then fell toward the two players. For a moment, it wasn’t clear who had the ball, if anyone, but when Moore started sprinting, the Sailors knew he had it. Moore ran the rest of the way to the end zone, giving Steamboat a 28-21 lead with 10:36 left to play.
On fourth down near their own 35-yard line, with 3:30 left to play, Glenwood Springs had to go for it. Sophomore quarterback Joaquin Sandoval ripped a pass into Sailors territory. Senior Ray Rosenmerkel was all over it. He caught the long pass, then broke away from his defender to score. A kick would tie it, but it didn’t have to.
Steamboat got a hand on the ball, which dribbled wide and low of the uprights. Steamboat killed the last two minutes to secure the win.
Junior Cody Mousley said the block was his favorite play, earning the win and, therefore, the winning season.
“It’s amazing for us to not be able to do that in so many years to come out here,” he said. “The fans are a really big aspect, and our team playing together. Coach Hamric has been great all year, firing us up.”
It would be an understatement to say the Steamboat Springs football team struggled to stop Rosenmerkel. He did a little bit of everything for the Demons, but mostly, he was the workhorse in the backfield. He scored a touchdown and ran in the conversion to tie the game after Steamboat held a 14-0 lead in the first half.
When Steamboat took a 21-14 lead with 28 seconds in the half, Rosenmerkel returned the kickoff for a score, tying the game once more with six seconds remaining.
Third down magic was alive all game for the home team. Steamboat excelled under pressure, making its most impressive plays on third down.
On a third-quarter drive, Steamboat got the ball on its own 20-yard line and faced a third-and-16 situation. Jake Hamric looked to junior receiver Cade Gedeon, who made the catch and earned the first down. Three plays later, on third-and-4, he found Gedeon again with a first-down catch. The drive ended in a blocked field goal, but the Sailors maintained confidence that they could make a play in any situation.
With under 30 seconds in the half, the Demons held Steamboat back, and the Sailors were in another third-and-long situation. Even knowing the Sailors would pass, the Demons couldn’t stop the play.
Hamric backed up from the line of scrimmage on the 16-yard line, looked to his left to Mousley, and threw. The senior receiver hopped up and came down with the ball in the end zone. Kicker Charlie Reisman’s third make of the game made it 21-14.
Steamboat Springs 28, Glenwood Springs 27
SS 14 7 0 7
GS 7 14 0 6
SS – Cade Gedeon 3 pass from Jake Hamric, Charlie Reisman kick, 6:10
SS – Ben Bogan 12 rush, Reisman kick, 4:05
GS – Joaquin Sandoval 9 rush, kick blocked, 0:12
GS – Ray Rosenmerkel 28 rush, Rosenmerkel rush, 8:17
SS – Cody Mousely 16 pass from Hamric, Reisman kick, 0:21
GS – Rosenmerkel kickoff return, kick, 0:06
SS – Austin Moore 32 pass from Hamric, Reisman kick, 10:36
GS – Rosenmerkel 65 pass from Sandoval, kick blocked, 3:14
Shelby Reardon is the assistant editor at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach her, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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