The Steamboat Springs football team found its running game Friday against Glenwood Springs, which is fortunate for the Sailors because they would have lost if they had been forced to throw the ball.
Instead, Steamboat put together two fourth-quarter scoring drives exclusively on the ground, turning a 7-point deficit into a 21-7 win.
"We wouldn't have won this game without our offensive line," senior Charlie Pappas said.
Behind the line, backs Brad Bonner, Lonny Radford and Shea Hurley gained a combined 201 yards, including 142 in the second half.
Off-and-on rain soaked the field, the ball and quarterback David May's hands Friday night. A nearly perfect defensive scheme against the pass proved even more disastrous for Steamboat.
Sailors coach Mark Drake said May had a difficult time gripping the ball firmly and unsuccessfully tried to throw changeups instead of fastballs.
Drake was pleased, however, that his team did not falter when it fell behind. Instead of becoming undisciplined, May handed the ball off to his teammates and let the Sailors' dormant running game awaken in the fourth-quarter mud.
"I was worried they were going to panic, but they didn't," Drake said.
After Glenwood scored a touchdown off a turnover with two minutes left in the third, Steamboat answered early in the fourth when Bonner scored the first of his two touchdowns on a 4-yard dive into the end zone.
May threw three interceptions and one cost the Sailors the lead. The Demons had one fumble Friday and it cost them the game.
Chris Hoban fumbled an exchange in the backfield on a double reverse with six minutes left in the fourth. The Sailors recovered and Bonner scored on a 3-yard run three plays later.
But it was the Sailors' defense that halted Glenwood's comeback bid on the Sailors' own 34-yard line. Steamboat picked up two first downs and took a knee to run out the clock.