Sluggish Sailors cruise to victory

Football defeats Delta easily

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2007 Sailors Football

* -- State playoff game.

Steamboat vs. Delta

Steamboat Delta

12 First Downs 13

35-276 Rushes-Yards 42-163

3-13-1 Comp-Att-Int 9-22-1

57 Yards Passing 96

333 Total Yards 255

1-44 Punts-Avg. 3-34

2-0 Fumbles-lost 3-2

9-63 Penalties-Yards 2-17

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Steamboat 07-17-06-07-37

Delta 00-00-06-00-6

SCORING SUMMARY

First Quarter

S 0:50, Nigel Hammond 38 pass from Austin Hinder. (Ben DeLine kick.)

Second Quarter

S 11:55, Safety.

S 11:48, Joe Dover 64 return. (Alex Wood run.)

S 8:27, Jay Hanley 2 run. (DeLine kick.)

Third Quarter

S 6:41, Hinder 24 run. (Kick fail.)

D 2:02, Luke Schmalz 3 run. (Pass fail.)

Fourth Quarter

S 5:59, Hinder 14 run. (DeLine kick.)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing

S: Hinder 11-109, 2 TD; Hanley 13-92, 1 TD; Dover 5-33; Fraser Egan 3-42; Eric Bonner 2-2; Jack Spady2-(-2).

D: Schmalz 30-140, 1 TD; Kevin Osborne 5-26; Phil Turano 3-7; Hank Howard 1-2; Stephen Vigil 2-(-2); Austin Watson 1-(-15).

Passing

S: Hinder 3-11-0, 57 yards, 1 TD; Hammond 0-1-1; Wood 0-1-0.

D: Osborne 8-17-1, 96 yards; Watson 1-6-0, 9 yards.

Receiving

S: Hammond 1-38, 1 TD; Wood 2-19.

D: Brenton Hines 3-57; Vigil 2-10; Gene White 1-2; Phillip Decker 1-18; Schmalz 1-9; Robert Simpson 1-7.

— As Steamboat Springs High School football passes the halfway point of the regular season, it's safe to assume the coaches have a pretty good idea of what this team can be.

They know the team can be unstoppable on offense.

They know the team can be an absolute nightmare on defense.

But they also know that on Friday night against Delta, the team didn't play close to its potential.

Despite beating Delta 37-6, Steamboat coach Aaron Finch came away from the game looking for more.

Mainly, more intensity.

"Hand it to Delta; they kept coming and coming and coming," Finch said. "They shot themselves in the foot a couple of times, but I don't feel like we beat them. We kind of lack of focused, lack of intensity, lack of executioned our way through this game."

Although the numbers favor Steamboat, they certainly don't tell the whole story.

The Sailors outgained the Panthers 333 to 255. They had 100 yards more rushing and caused four Panthers turnovers.

But Steamboat had a turnover inside its own 5-yard line, converted four turnovers into only seven points and had a field goal and extra point blocked.

These factors led Finch to realize that if Steamboat is to reach its full potential - a team that at times has looked like the class of the league - Steamboat must play better and find ways to finish well.

"This team has some very, very fine athletes on it," Finch said. "But to beat teams like Glenwood and Rifle and possibly onto the playoffs, we've got to pull it together as a team. We have to get better. And we're a good team, but we have to get better."

One area the Sailors certainly did a good job in was taking advantage of several Delta miscues.

After Austin Hinder found Nigel Hammond from 38 yards out to put Steamboat up 7-0, the defense did what it does best and made it near impossible for Delta to move the ball.

Once Delta's third possession produced a 3-and-out, the Panthers set up to punt. The snap went out of the end zone for a Sailors safety.

Then on the ensuing Delta kickoff, sophomore Joe Dover returned the ball 64 yards for a touchdown and a 17-0 Steamboat lead.

On Delta's next possession, Steamboat linebacker Kevin Stokes blitzed around the corner and sacked Delta quarterback Kevin Osborne, causing a fumble. Ben DeLine recovered the fumble on the Delta 6-yard line, and two plays later, Jay Hanley took it in from two yards out to put Steamboat up, 24-0.

"We're really focused on making the playoffs. That's our first big thing," Stokes said. "We know we should have played a lot better tonight despite our win. We're going to need to play a lot better to beat teams like Glenwood and Rifle."

Hinder added second-half touchdown runs of 14 and 24 yards to make the Steamboat margin what it was.

Steamboat, however, got some good news Friday.

With Glenwood's 34-21 win against Palisade, Steamboat still has a shot to finish atop the Western Slope League.

Combine that with the possibilities this team holds, and Finch said the bottom line Friday night was a win the Sailors can learn from as they prepare for the final four games of the regular season.

"We talked all week like we had a job to do," Finch said. "These should-wins have to be must-wins, and we came in here and did what we needed to do. Was it pretty and did we get better? No. Do we have to get better? Absolutely."

Steamboat next plays at 7 p.m. Friday against Montezuma-Cortez at Gardner Field. The game will be part of the homecoming festivities.

- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229

or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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