Steamboat Springs football to battle Eagle Valley Devils |
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Steamboat Springs football to battle Eagle Valley Devils

Steamboat Springs football to take battle to Eagle Valley

Jack Spady runs the ball up the field during Steamboat's Aug. 29 game against Holy Family. The Sailors will play the Eagle Valley Devils at 7 p.m today.

— The Steamboat Springs High School football team can’t wait to get through today.

On paper, everything surrounding a 7 p.m. game at Eagle Valley favors an undefeated Steamboat team.

The Devils are 0-4 overall and 0-2 in the Western Slope League, having lost to their opponents by a combined score of 166-32. Eagle Valley has been shut out twice and appears to be in rebuilding mode again.

The Sailors are 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the Western Slope League.

Despite tonight’s contest, questions for Steamboat about the following week – an Oct. 2 showdown with Palisade – keep filling the locker room. That day, it’s most likely the top two teams in the league, if not Class 3A, will meet in Steamboat Springs for a game that could determine playoff seeding.

“We haven’t ignored the fact that every year, the Palisade game is a big game,” Steamboat coach Aaron Finch said. “They’re one of the top two teams in the league. Beat them, and you have a shot at winning the league and you put yourself in a good position to make the playoffs. We do think of Palisade, but we have to get better this week. We can’t play lousy and turn around and play well all of a sudden.”

Add in the tradition of tough games with Eagle Valley, and there is certainly some intrigue with today’s game.

Four years ago, Steamboat’s lone loss in the regular season came against a playoffless Eagle Valley team, at Steamboat’s Gardner Field.

Two years ago, Steamboat needed a long touchdown pass as time ran out to sneak out of Eagle Valley with a win, and last season, the two teams went to the final quarter in a tight battle before Steamboat got the win.

The Devils’ four losses have come against some of the top teams in the state. Eagle Valley lost to the Class 2A reigning state champion in Olathe, and the Class 3A reigning state champion, Glenwood Springs.

With losses against powerhouse Palisade and 2A’s No. 2 team, Faith Christian, Eagle Valley has probably played the toughest schedule in the league to this point.

“That’s not a favorable schedule,” Finch said. “They are a lot better than their record indicates.”

Maybe the Delta game two weeks ago was the best thing that happened to Steamboat. There, the team got up early before Delta stormed back and competed until the very end.

“Delta was our biggest lesson when it comes to overlooking a team,” quarterback Austin Hinder said. “We came into Delta thinking we were going to kill this team. We came in with that attitude and we almost got beat.”

As usual, today’s game will be a physical contest.

Eagle Valley likes to run out of the double-wing formation, with everyone packed within four yards of the line of scrimmage. Finch said preparing for that and controlling the line of scrimmage would be key for Steamboat to remain undefeated.

“Eagle Valley is well coached, always has good athletes, they play hard and are always ready to play,” Finch said. “We remind ourselves of all those other things, but we’ve got to remain at the task at hand, and that’s Eagle Valley.”

SSHS season statistics

First Downs

Steamboat 42, Eagle Valley 37


Steamboat 75-418, Eagle Valley 78-290


Steamboat 49-81-2, Eagle Valley 35-67-7

Yards Passing

Steamboat 632, Eagle Valley 504

Total Yards

Steamboat 1, 050, Eagle Valley 794


Steamboat 8-37, Eagle Valley 12-30


Steamboat 2-0, Eagle Valley 6-3


Steamboat 19-166, Eagle Valley 37-301

Score By Quarters

Eagle Valley, 07-13-00-34-54

Steamboat, 33-36-25-32-126


Connor Landusky 11-37; Austin Hinder 24-130, 3 TD; Dylan Pivarnik 8-32; Jake Miller 1-(-1); Joe Dover 21-163, 4 TD; Michael Savory 3-11; Evan Hornstein 3-31, 1 TD; Tyler Samlowski 4-19, 1 TD.


Hinder 47-75-2, 625 yards, 8 TD; Miller 1-1-0, 8 yards; Savory 1-5-0, -1 yards.


Jack Verploeg 10-86, 1 TD; Jack Spady 13-250, 3 TD; Cody Harris 6-34; Pivarnik 8-123, 3 TD; Bryce Mayo 2-19; Landusky 2-17; Dover 7-89, 1 TD; Sam Robards 1-8.

If you go

What: Steamboat football at Eagle Valley

When: 7 p.m. today

Where: Eagle Valley High School