If the Steamboat Springs offense throws for more than 1,500 yards this season, the linemen each receive a steak dinner.
And Friday, the young men up front could almost smell the sirloins, as starting quarterback David May and backup Tyler Fosdick combined to throw for 362 yards in a 52-14 rout of Montezuma-Cortez in the league opener.
Through four games, the Sailors are more than halfway to their goal with 817 total passing yards, but May is quick to point out he wouldn't look half as good as he does if it weren't for his blockers.
"The line has been doing a great job," he said. "I knew we had potential, and they are proving to everyone they can get the job done."
Friday, May completed 12 passes in 20 attempts for 274 yards and three touchdowns before exiting in the fourth quarter. Fosdick was 2-for-3 for 88 yards.
Montezuma-Cortez coach Tom Adair knew coming into Friday's game that his defense would be stretched thin trying to contain both Steamboat's ground game and passing game. The Panthers did an excellent job stopping the run. The Sailors managed 115 yards on the ground but could not run up the middle and had just a few rushing plays of more than five yards. Michael Herbert's 30-yard run at the end of the first half was the Sailors' longest rushing play of the game. He is an offensive lineman and got the ball on a fake fumble play.
What the Sailors lacked in the ground game, they more than made up for in the air. Seven receivers caught a pass Friday night, and eight of Steamboat's 14 completions went for more than 20 yards.
"We've got a good group of receivers, and they are making some great catches, but David is throwing the ball very, very well," Sailors coach Mark Drake said.
It took five plays for Steamboat to score on its opening possession Friday when Chris Dombey caught a 7-yard pass from May. Less than six minutes later, May hit tight end Casey Earp in stride for a 50-yard completion.
Up 14-0 after one quarter, the Sailors put the game away early in the second, scoring two touchdowns nine seconds apart. May found Earp on a 26-yard completion at the 9:59 mark.
Shea Hurley intercepted Darren Waymen's pass on the first play of the Panther's next possession, returning the ball 20 yards for the easy score with 9:50 left in the second.
Steamboat added one more score before halftime when Fosdick legged a 43-yard field goal through the uprights at the 4:38 mark, breaking Buddy's Bair's previous school record of 42 yards, a record Bair held for more than two decades.
Five players scored for Steamboat in Friday's win, but no one was busier than Fosdick. The junior kicker scored 10 points with his kicking leg and 12 points with his legs on touchdown runs of 9 yards and 1 yard while quarterbacking in the fourth.
After the game, May and Dombey stated the obvious. They are having fun with this offense while opposing coaches struggle to find ways to contain it. Charlie Pappas, one of the Sailors' leading receivers, did not even play Friday.
"They are a good team," Adair said of Steamboat. We knew we had to play well, but we had some breakdowns in coverage, but they have a good QB and he can throw the football."
Next up for Steamboat is Palisade at 4 p.m. Friday at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction.
It was thought by most that both teams would head into next Friday's game undefeated, but Palisade, No. 1 in state polls for now, lost to Rifle on Friday, 35-14, leaving the Sailors the only undefeated team in the league.