Ault Jamie McKelvie recovered a fumble in the end zone and scored on an 8-yard touchdown reception, as the Steamboat Sailors throttled the Highland Huskies 48-3 on Friday in Ault.
With less than ten seconds remaining in the first half, the Huskies attempted to run out the clock from their own 5-yard line, before a missed handoff bounced into their own end zone. McKelvie fell on the loose ball, scoring a touchdown, as the Sailors took a 28-3 lead into halftime.
Steamboat, 3-0, rushed for 269 yards on 30 carries and added 105 yards through the air, as the defense held the Highland offense to 103 yards. The Sailors had five sacks and forced five turnovers, including a 52-yard interception return for a touchdown by cornerback Tim Hays.
The Huskies, 1-2, were down 14-3, before Sailors wide receiver Kyle Svendsen broke loose on a 37-yard reverse, and Hunter Maddox scampered for a 22 yard run to set up another touchdown. Derek Haverley scored on a four-yard run up the middle with 2:38 remaining as Steamboat went ahead 21-3.
McKelvie's fumble recovery put the game out of reach, despite an impressive performance by the Huskies early in the half. After a 14-yard Svendsen touchdown reception, the Huskies' Melvin Oliva faked a reverse handoff on a kickoff and busted free to the Sailors 37-yard line.
A tipped pass by defensive lineman Jason Wenzlau and a tough goal-line stance by the Sailors, however, left the Huskies facing a fourth-and-four. Brad Landwehr connected on a 20-yard field goal that closed the score to 7-3.
The field goal would be the Huskies only score of the game. The Sailors had three more touchdowns in the second half, the longest being a 24-yard touchdown by running back Tony Haight.
Haight finished the day with three carries for 42 yards, and Haverley added 10 carries for 85 yards.
Quarterback Rusty Eck, who had three interceptions in the first half, finished with 105 yards on 8-17 passing. He added 20 yards rushing on five carries.
Steamboat now looks ahead to a Sept. 22 contest at home against Glenwood Springs. The Sailors have outscored their opponents 139-15 this season.
Sailors coach Mark Drake said he was pleased with his team's performance, despite a sluggish start.
"I think the kids did a really good job, even though it started a little slow," Drake said. "They had 14 (points) in the first quarter and 14 in the second. And there's nothing wrong with that."
The defense gave up some big plays early on but adjusted well in the second quarter, Drake said.
"We made a couple of defensive adjustments," Drake said. "We kept talking to the kids about not getting the penetration so deep in the backfield, to just hit and react and be ready to go, because the team was diving so quickly in there."
Highland, 2A, entered Friday's contest with 19 sophomores on its squad. The inexperience showed throughout the game, as the Huskies turned the ball over in crucial situations. They also were penalized eight times for 40 yards.
Steamboat had six penalties for 55 yards.
McKelvie said his team's defense struggled early on, though he was happy to see his team earn the victory.
"We started off very poorly," McKelvie said. "We couldn't stop their offense. Then, we changed to a 6-2, and shut them down.
Svendsen said his team still had work to do, before entering the Glenwood Springs game.
"The score doesn't show anything," Svendsen said. "We still had our mistakes, so we need to keep going."
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