Bulldogs no match for hometown favorite

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With its home schedule now complete, the Steamboat football team starts its final three-game road stint of the season when it plays Montezuma-Cortez at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Palisade.

Steamboat, 6-1 and 3-1, is coming off a 49-6 win over Moffat County Oct. 13 at home. The Sailors rolled over the Bulldogs behind strong performances from Derek Haverley and Stewart Beall.

Steamboat's final three games are all away, against Montezuma-Cortez, Rifle and Delta.

The Panthers, 0-7 and 0-4, were demoralized against the Palisade Bulldogs Oct. 13. Palisade defeated Montezuma-Cortez 50-0.

In the Moffat County game, Haverley ran for 117 yards on 12 carries, intercepted two passes and had a 68-yard touchdown reception.

He also scored on a 49-yard run at the 9 minute, 30 second-mark of the first quarter for his team's first touchdown.

Beall's ground game was also on as he rushed 26 times for 133 yards and returned an 85-yard kick for a touchdown. He had three touchdowns in the game, including a three-yard scamper and a seven-yard run.

Eck and Hunter Maddox also posted scores for the Sailors. Maddox scored with less than a minute to go in the game on a 46-yard run around the right side and Eck found the end zone on a 25-yard keeper in the second quarter.

Moffat County's lone touchdown came on a Mike Charchalis pass to Kevin Voorhees on a 57-yard play in the third quarter.

Voorhees, the Bulldogs' top receiver this season, also had a 74-yard kick return that nearly went for another score.

The Sailors accumulated 481 yards of offense, including 363 on the ground. Eck, who threw for 118 yards, now has 760 yards passing on the season.

Eck's 68-yard touchdown pass to Haverley came on a sweet lofter down the right sideline that gave the Sailors a 28-0 lead.

Andrew Porter-Merrill, who nailed the extra point, made seven of seven on the evening.

The Sailors defense played tremendously in each of the four quarters. Linebackers Blake Julian and Gaspar Perricone led the team in tackles, and both players recorded sacks.

Julian also had an interception near the end of the game.

Haverley, who threw an interception on a trick play early in the game, picked off two passes himself. His defensive interceptions came in the second and third quarters.

The turning point in the game may have been in the first quarter when Moffat County had a touchdown negated because of a penalty.

The penalty handed the Bulldogs a third-and-goal from the 11-yard line.

Charchalis completed a pass to tight end Chris Bergmann two plays later on fourth down, but Bergmann was tackled at the Sailors' 1-yard line.

The scrappy defense was arguably Steamboat's best performance of the season, Sailors defensive coordinator Bruce Wenzlau said.

"It was a great job from those guys on the inside," Wenzlau said. "They did a good job along with the linebackers out there.

"They rose to the occasion and shut them out when they needed to."

The Sailors defense, which allows just 12 points per game this season, gave up 156 yards against the Bulldogs.

Voorhees, whose team plays Glenwood Springs on Friday, was impressed with the explosiveness of the Steamboat offense, he said. Voorhees compared the Sailors to the Palisade Bulldogs .

"They're both big-sized and they both have running backs that run hard," Voorhees said. "We just need to come out with a little more fire and do a better job on the line of scrimmage."

Eck and Haverley, who both ended their careers at home with big performances, have high expectations for the Montezuma-Cortez game, they said.

The biggest concern, the players said, is not to make any mistakes. Steamboat had nine penalties for 70 yards against Moffat County.

"Further down the road, you know, in the big games, it might be the turnaround point, and we need to watch that," Haverley said.

Added Eck: "We definitely need to clean that up. If we clean it up, we'll kill everyone."

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