Sailors face huge hurdle

Demons pose threat

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Steamboat Springs season statistics

First Downs 78

Rushes-Yards 239-1,064

Comp-Att-Int 61-125-6

Yards Passing 847

Total Yards 1,911

Punts-Avg. 28-41

Fumbles-lost 17-8

Penalties-Yards 53-509

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Steamboat 51-26-27-32-136

Opponent 00-30-16-31-77

INDIVIDUAL SEASON STATISTICS

Rushing

S: Jay Hanley 126-657, 7 TD; Sean Forney 21-74; Eric Bonner 20-58; Jace Bonner 11-36; Westin Cofer 8-63; Aaron Hornstein 8-40; Josh Mangold 4-8; Tanner Stillwell 31-127, 2 TD; Matt Lettunich 1-8; Houston Mader 1-0; Alex Wood 3-(-7).

Passing

S: Stillwell 60-122-6 827 yards, 7 TD; Wood 1-3-0 20 yards.

Receiving

S: Hanley 9-102, Hornstein 4-37; Westin Cofer 8-146, 5 TD; Nigel Hammond 6-88; Michael Stewart 16-207, 1 TD; Jace Bonner 14-230, 1TD; Jeff Dawes 2-18; Sean Forney 1-11; Houston Mader 1-8.

— Some say it's good to save the best for last.

In the case of the Steamboat Springs football team, that couldn't ring truer than today's game against high-powered Glenwood Springs.

Steamboat, playing the last of a three-game stretch against spread offenses, takes on a team head coach Aaron Finch calls "very dangerous."

"(Glenwood Springs) is the best of the three spread offenses we've seen," Finch said. "They're pretty scary when you watch their offense and what they are able to do. They will complete some passes and each week they keep getting better."

Glenwood Springs (4-3, 3-2 in league play) is in third place in the Western Slope League, just a game behind Steamboat Springs (6-1, 4-1).

The Demons are led by sophomore quarterback Dakota Stonehouse and a slew of capable receivers.

Stonehouse has more than 1,400 yards passing to go along with 15 touchdown passes. He also leads his team in rushing with 468 yards and four touchdowns.

"His numbers are a bit gaudy, especially considering he's a sophomore," Finch said. "There's no question he would be leading the league statistically. He's got a very good pocket presence and when you put pressure on him he'll step up. In so many ways, he is the heart of their offense, and as a coaching staff they've taken advantage of his skills."

The Demons are coming off two straight wins against Palisade and Eagle Valley. In league losses to Battle Mountain and league leading Rifle, Glenwood Springs lost on last second drives or plays.

What it all adds up to, both coaches said, is a game that is critical for their respective team's playoff hopes.

"To tell you the truth, we've been a little lucky," Demons head coach Rocky Whitworth said. "We've had the ball bounce our way. We've just been hanging in there until the end and things just went right for us."

Whitworth said Steamboat is as sound a football team in the league as he has seen in the past three years. Unable to pinpoint one area of the Sailors' game that worries him the most, Whitworth said the Demons are simply going to have to play a complete game and get some breaks.

"I think the key for us will be our endurance," Whitworth said. "We need to hang around and not let them overwhelm us. That's not a great battle cry but we've got to hang on."

Last week against Monte-zuma-Cortez, Steamboat put up more than 160 yards passing more than 200 yards rushing. Finch said he was encouraged by the balance, and said the Sailors will need that type of ball control against the Demons.

"A lot of things came together well," Finch said. "We felt with Cortez there were some things that they did that we could take advantage of:(tonight) we're going to have to play the entire game. The fewer opportunities we give them to throw the ball the better off we'll be."

- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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