Steamboat Springs Stewart Beall's 92-yard touchdown run was the longest play in Colorado high school football last week as the Steamboat Sailors conquered the Huskies of Battle Mountain 58-27 at home.
Beall's run, which came in the first quarter of Friday's game, was longer than Joe Thurman's 90-yard run for Mitchell High School and Troy Rightsell's 89-yard reception for Arvada High School.
Beall busted up the middle on a second-down play with less than three minutes to go as he outraced a couple of Huskies defenders to put his team up 21-0.
The scoring explosion began on the team's first play from scrimmage when quarterback Rusty Eck hit receiver Kyle Svendsen for a 68-yard touchdown strike. Svendsen's catch also qualified as one of the longest plays of the week.
Eck finished on 4-7 passing for 152 yards and three touchdowns. The quarterback has 642 yards on the season with four games remaining on the schedule.
Running back Tony Haight kept his rushing average at No. 1 on the team as he ran for 53 yards on four carries. Haight, who scored on a 30-yard run, has 233 yards on 11 rushes this season. He averages 21 yards per carry. His touchdown in the second quarter came moments after an Eck-to-Tim Hays touchdown was wiped out after a Sailors' clipping penalty.
Steamboat had three touchdowns negated during the game because of penalties.
The Sailors, however, smacked around the Huskies all night as the No. 7-ranked team in Western Slope football improved its record to 5-1 and 2-1 on the season.
Eck's other two touchdown passes were in the first half, including a 44-yarder to Ryan Wattles and a 30-yarder to Hunter Maddox.
The Sailors defense was tested against the scrappy Huskies offense. Battle Mountain managed 458 yards, including 316 yards on the ground. Huskies running back Jon Hite bowled over Sailors defenders like a bulldozer at times, rushing for more than 100 yards, including a two-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Hite took a pitch on a fake punt play in the third quarter that went for 25 yards to the Steamboat 22-yard line.
Battle Mountain used some savvy play-calling during the game to make good on a number of trick plays. Still, the team was no match for the highly talented Sailors.
"We had some good drives and things like that," Huskies coach Scott Wiedeman said. "But, I'll tell you what, we just can't match up with them defensively. I mean, they got the horses."
Steamboat's defensive line consists of a menacing front four that includes ends JoJo Bucci and Wes Adams and tackles Dillon Gottshall and Tristan Covillo.
Covillo, who has a torn meniscus, wasn't overly upset about his team giving up four touchdowns to the Huskies. The Sailors allow just 13 points per game.
"Our coach told us to come out firing, and we did," Covillo said. "I think we came out aggressive and the offense was playing smarter and less sloppy than last time."
Steamboat, who lost 36-33 to Palisade on Sept. 29, was ahead 21-0 after the first quarter.
Beall's run came two plays after a Sailors touchdown was called back on a penalty.
Wattles had just fielded a punt that he returned 80 yards before an official threw a flag that turned out to be against the Sailors. Two plays later, Beall found some daylight and broke free for the long score.
The offensive line continued to pound out holes for Sailors running backs throughout the contest, and the squad showed considerable improvement from early in the season. Tackles Jason Wenzlau and Steve Mahosky are the anchors behind the Steamboat offense, using their 470 pounds of combined muscle to outwork opponents. Guards Mike Radford and Sam Ecker are another solid duo, weighing in at about 415 pounds. Bucci is the center of the team's powerful line.
Beall was the team's leading rusher with 183 yards on four carries, followed by Tanner Barr and Haight. Derek Haverley finished with 50 yards and a touchdown on four carries.
The most intriguing statistic of the football game was probably the number of different players who had touchdowns. Steamboat had eight players with scores while Battle Mountain had four players go for touchdowns. Huskies players that scored included Hite, Kyle Ferguson, Andrew Garst and Alberto Balcazar.
Balcazar's touchdown came with four seconds left in the game.
Other scores for the Sailors included a five-yard run by Patrick Rogers and a 61-yard keeper by quarterback Barr.
Bucci was proud of his team's defensive effort, he said. The Sailors had big performances from linebackers Gaspar Perricone, Blake Julian and Jamie McKelvie. Haight and Gottshall also came up big defensively.
"We allowed 14 points with the first-team defense in," Bucci said. "And both of those plays were odd, where they scored on desperate attempts.
"They never really made a huge drive on us. They played pretty well. They were a little better than we thought, but half of their points were in the fourth quarter."
Sailors coach Mark Drake must now prepare his team for a crucial league battle against the Bulldogs of Moffat County on Friday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Gardner Field.
To reach Eric Rineer call 871-4229 or e-mail email@example.com