Beall's return sparks offense

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— Stewart Beall returned to Gardner Field with a fury on Friday night, and the Steamboat firecracker offense erupted for 47 points as the Sailors football team demolished the Glenwood Springs High School Demons in front of hometown fans.

The Sailors, 4-0, and ranked No. 8 in the state, shut out the Demons and rolled for 412 yards on the ground as they registered a 47-0 thrashing and their first league win in 2000.

Beall, who returned from an ankle injury that kept him on the sideline for the past two games, scampered for 35 yards on his third carry of the day. His run led to the game's first touchdown, which was scored by Beall on an 18-yard run at the 7:40 mark.

Beall finished with 14 carries for 180 yards, including two touchdowns and a 60-yard run near the end of the third quarter.

"I just wanted to play," Beall said. "I was hungry, I guess. I just wanted to get in there and go."

JoJo Bucci also came up big for the undefeated Sailors, with a 10-yard sack of Demons quarterback Mike Bolitho and a 57-yard offensive touchdown.

Bucci, who plays center, switched to the right guard position at the end of the first half during a trick-play devised by the Steamboat coaches. Joe Oakland, who took over as center for the play, placed the football on the ground instead of hiking it to quarterback Rusty Eck.

The Demons defense was fooled on the play as the team went after Beall who faked a handoff. Meanwhile, the 5-foot-10, 208-pound Bucci snagged the ball from the ground and put his wheels in motion for a touchdown around the right sideline.

Sailors offensive line coach Bob Harris talked about the trick play.

"We have a lot of gadget plays," Harris said. "The kids have a lot of fun with them.

"Of course, Bucci did a heck of a job. He had his guys out there blocking and stuff, and they had a lot of fun with it. It's worked for us a lot of years."

The guard-around play wasn't the only thing that worked for the Sailors on Friday.

Hunter Maddox had a 78-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, and Eck tucked away a 25-yard keeper for a touchdown in the third.

The Steamboat defense, which has allowed 3.75 points per game this year, held Glenwood to 97 yards rushing on 41 carries. Raimundo Moreno, Tanner Barr and Adam Black each had sacks for the Sailors.

Derek Haverley had a 42-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, and Patrick Rogers added a 2-yard touchdown in the third.

The Demons established an impressive 11-play drive early in the first quarter that included a 25-yard pass for a first down from Bolitho to receiver Bryan Pyland.

Bucci and Haverley had big tackles on the drive, however, and the defense forced Glenwood to punt.

Sailors linebacker Blake Julian led the team with seven tackles and three assists, and linebacker Jamie McKelvie had five tackles and two assists. Defensive end Wes Adams had five tackles, followed by linebacker Gaspar Perricone and defensive tackle Dillon Gottshall, who had four tackles apiece.

Harris said Friday's contest was the best all-around performance for his team this season.

"This was, no question about it, better talent than we faced all year," Harris said. "And our kids rose to the occasion. So, we're coming together like we want to, and we realize that next week, it's the game of the year."

The Sailors travel to Grand Junction on Sept. 29 to face No. 3 Palisade, which marks a classic showdown of 3A powerhouses.

"It's the big show next week," Harris said. "They're going to be the biggest and most talented team that we played, and they're ranked No. 3.

"They have people in the top 10 in receiving. They have people in the top 10 in rushing. Their quarterback's in the top 10 in his stats in the state. So, we gotta go down there and play them. We're going to see what we're made of."

Harris' words about Palisade tell the tale for the Sailors this year. The team has demolished each of its four opponents this season but continues to win games with a businesslike attitude. The players and coaches were already thinking of next week's game in the locker room on Friday rather than dwelling too much on their outstanding victory.

Glennwood coach Craig Denney thinks highly of Steamboat's high-scoring offense.

"They've got an offensive machine, and they can do some things," Denney said. "Shoot, I mean our kids tried to play, but Steamboat's just good."

Denney found some positives in the game despite being held scoreless, he said. Held to just 2 yards of offense against Summit last week, the Demons rebounded with 137 yards against the Sailors.

Glenwood faces Cortez next week, while kickoff for the Steamboat vs. Palisade game is at 7 p.m.


To reach Eric Rineer call 871-4229 or e-mail erineer@amigo.net

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