Steamboat Springs High School quarterback Austin Hinder, center, tries to break past two Rifle defenders during the game at Gardner Field on Friday night. The Sailors beat the Bears, 42-27.

Photo by Brian Ray

Steamboat Springs High School quarterback Austin Hinder, center, tries to break past two Rifle defenders during the game at Gardner Field on Friday night. The Sailors beat the Bears, 42-27.

Dover and Dover again

Sophomore runs for 213 yards, 2 TDs to lead Steamboat past Rifle

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2007 Sailors Football

* -- State playoff game.

— Steamboat Springs senior running back Jay Hanley has made a high school career out of carving up Rifle defenses. Friday against Rifle, sophomore running back Joe Dover started his career where Hanley left off.

The two-headed backfield combined for 298 yards - including 213 from Dover - and five touchdowns in Friday night's 42-27 win at Gardner Field in Steamboat Springs.

The two backs, often working together with Hanley serving as lead blocker, helped the Sailors clinch a playoff spot and all but lock down the No. 3 seed out of the Western Slope League.

"I hadn't played a full game all year, and I just wanted to make it through the whole game," said Dover, who tallied 176 yards on eight carries through the first half. "Rifle has always been a rival with us, so I thought I'd just play my best."

Dover did exactly that.

After Rifle opened up the scoring with a 13-play drive that took more than five minutes off the clock and covered 80 yards, Dover helped the Sailors respond instantly.

On his first carry of the night - an option play around the right side - Dover galloped 36 yards to set up an Alex Wood 14-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Austin Hinder.

Then, after Rifle had closed to within a point at 21-20 midway through the second quarter, Dover showed just what type of weapon he can be.

On a second-and-10 play from Steamboat's 47-yard line, Dover took the handoff, broke off a Hanley block and outran two Rifle defenders to the right side of the end zone to put Steamboat up for good.

"I just get the ball and go," said Dover, who clinched the game with a fourth quarter interception in the end zone. "I just get the ball and run."

In Friday night's track meet of a football game, both offenses came to play.

In the first half alone, the two teams combined for 551 yards of total offense and 55 points.

Rifle quarterback Hazen Moss - who finished the game with 306 yards of total offense, including 194 yards passing - helped the Bears keep up with the Sailors by running for a touchdown and throwing for two more in the first half.

Moss did his best work after Steamboat took a 21-7 lead a minute into the second quarter.

Moss - who missed the previous two seasons after tearing his ACL - finished the first half 7-of-11 for 164 yards and two touchdowns.

"He's a fantastic football player," Rifle coach Damon Wells said. "But more importantly, he's a better person. :Unfortunately, there's a lot of negatives that go with coaching nowadays, but he's one of the reasons you do it."

But in the second half, the Steamboat defense - missing top tackler Nigel Hammond, who was out with a groin injury - made the adjustments Rifle couldn't.

In four second-half possessions, Rifle finished with three turnovers and a 3-and-out. The Sailors also limited the Bears to 89 yards in the second half and capitalized on Rifle errors.

"I love beating them," said Hanley, who did most of the offensive work in the second half with two violent touchdown runs. "I love beating them the most."

Steamboat wraps up its regular season at Battle Mountain next Friday.

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