Steamboat football comes up short against Montezuma-Cortez
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Springs High School football team did everything it could on defense against Montezuma-Cortez.
The Sailors batted away passes, tackled one of the largest running backs they’ll ever see and pressured senior quarterback Ty Blackmer.
The defense fought all afternoon, forcing turnovers on downs and giving the offense the ball in excellent positions. The offense couldn’t capitalize, though.
The Sailors could only muster a field goal in a 12-3 loss to Montezuma-Cortez at Gardner Field on Saturday.
“Our defense came out and played extremely well. I’m very proud of them,” said Steamboat head coach Mike Appel. “We just got the little things on offense. We got a few passes. That game could have gone either way real quickly.”
Towards the end of the first half and the second half, sophomore quarterback Cade Gedeon had some long passes nearly on target for his receivers, but none connected. He was most effective with shorter passes to receivers, who added yards after the catch.
Gedeon just started practicing with the team Tuesday, though, after concluding the basketball season. So Appel and other players are sure that with more time, the offense will look smoother.
“We all have to be on the same key,” junior Ben Bogan said. “We just have to do better. I don’t really know it. It’s the first game, first two weeks.”
Steamboat scored first. Halfway through the first quarter, a pair of big passes to senior Finn Russell helped the Sailors advance. They couldn’t get past the 10-yard line, though. So, they brought out Charlie Reisman, a freshman kicker. The newbie nailed the field goal, putting Steamboat up 3-0.
“He came to us. He said, ‘I’d like to start kicking a bit.’ He’d been working on it all summer,” Appel said. “He plays soccer, as well. He shows up to every single one of our practices when he’s not practicing soccer. It’s going to be a big key to this game.”
Steamboat had the ball often but couldn’t move up the field to score. Toward the end of the half, Gedeon threw the ball toward wide-open senior Jameson Tracy and junior Ben Schott but neither connected. The score stayed 3-0 Steamboat going into halftime.
Montezuma-Cortez had renewed energy in the second half. Senior quarterback Ty Blackmer was running more than he did in the first half, surprising the Sailors defense. He ran twice up the sidelines and out of bounds for first downs. Then, he found No. 5 with a 29-yard pass, putting the Panthers on the Steamboat 28-yard line. A few plays later, he connected with junior Dylan Lanier for a 16-yard touchdown pass, giving Montezuma-Cortez a 6-3 lead.
Steamboat junior Ben Bogan tackled Blackmer on the two-point conversion attempt.
Late in the game, Lanier ran 39 yards to the end zone after a short pass from Blackmer. After two missed tackles, Lanier had a wide open shot at the end zone. The Sailors prevented the conversion once again, though, keeping the score 12-3.
“The first quarter we did really well,” Bogan said. “We all played hard, it just came down to a couple plays that we just messed up on. We couldn’t do anything about it.”
Montezuma-Cortez 12, Steamboat Springs 3
MC 0 0 6 6 – 12
SS 3 0 0 0 – 3
SS – Field Goal Charlie Reisman, 5:40
MC – Dylan Lanier 16 pass from Ty Blackmer, Conversion no good, 5:17
MC – Lanier 39 pass from Blackmer, Conversion no good, 1:44
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, 6 p.m.
April 23 - at Rifle, 7 p.m.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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