Sunday, September 16, 2007
2007 Sailors Football
- Aug. 24 Steamboat 23, Kent Denver 14 (1-0, 0-0)
- Aug. 31 Laramie 33, Steamboat 7 (1-1, 0-0)
- Sept. 7, Palisade 28, Steamboat 10 (1-2, 0-1)
- Sept. 14, Steamboat 34, Eagle Valley 27 (2-2, 1-1)
- Sept. 28, Steamboat 40, Moffat County 24 (3-2, 2-1)
- Oct. 5, Steamboat 37, Delta 6 (4-2, 3-1)
- Oct. 12, Steamboat 46, Montezuma-Cortez 7 (5-2, 4-1)
- Oct. 19, Glenwood Springs 25, Steamboat 20 (5-3, 4-2)
- Oct. 26, Steamboat 42, Rifle 27 (6-3, 5-2)
- Nov. 2, Steamboat 56, Battle Mountain 27 (7-3, 6-2)
- *2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 10, Steamboat at Fossil Ridge, Fort Collins
* -- State playoff game.
If you missed the game
Catch replays of Sailors football games at 10:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Sundays and 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays on Steamboat TV 18.
Steamboat Springs It's possible the Steamboat Springs High School football team turned the tide of its season during the last 32 seconds of Friday's 34-27 win against Eagle Valley.
Considering what a loss would have meant - an 0-2 start in the Western Slope League - to a young team looking to make the playoffs, Steamboat coach Aaron Finch said Friday's win couldn't be underestimated.
After Steamboat dominated the second half and had Eagle Valley in a fourth-and-16 at its own 21-yard line with 38 seconds left, the Sailors gave up the one play they couldn't. Eagle Valley's Hunter Blevins hooked up with Nick Whitehead on a 79-yard touchdown, pulling the Devils to within two.
It was a play Eagle Valley coach John Ramunno had run throughout summer camps, and he knew he had to get the ball in Whitehead's hands.
"That's the guy you want to get the ball to," Ramunno said after Friday's game. "Nick wasn't done yet."
After Steamboat's Ben DeLine seemingly stopped John Crawford on the two-point conversion attempt, the referees huddled and reversed the call, tying the game at 27.
Even Finch thought overtime was where the Sailors would have to win the game.
"I was sitting there trying to figure what we wanted to run in overtime," Finch said. "But I got one more play, so let's run that one."
That one was a perfect strike from Austin Hinder to Nigel Hammond for a game-winning, 67-yard touchdown pass with just six seconds remaining.
Finch knows the Sailors have to win at least five games to have a shot at the playoffs. After Friday's improbable victory, the Sailors - who have six league games remaining - are in good position to make the postseason for the third consecutive year.
"One key lesson you can learn in high school football is never quit. Never, never give up," Finch said. "If there is any characteristic of a Steamboat team that I'm the most proud of, it's we never give up. We talk about it, and the kids lived it" Friday.
Although the final minute of play will be the most talked-about, lost in the conversation might be how well Steamboat played throughout the game.
Defensively, Steamboat gave up less than 100 yards on the ground to a team that had averaged more than 250 yards rushing a game. The Sailors held Eagle Valley to 0-for-10 on third-down conversions and 2-for-5 on fourth-down conversions.
On offense, Steamboat finally got its running game going, rushing for 247 yards on 47 attempts. Hinder threw two perfect, deep touchdowns - both to Hammond - leaving no doubt he's one of the top quarterbacks in the league, despite being a sophomore.
"How nice is it we get to see Austin throw the ball for three more years?" Finch asked rhetorically.
Steamboat now heads into its bye week with the same league record it had at this point last season. Perhaps more important, Finch said, is what Friday's win will mean as the season progresses.
"This win is so critical, because we're not a real seasoned team," Finch said. "This win was critical with our bye week coming up. Now we're 1-1 in the league, exactly where we were last year. To split these two, you feel very, very good."