Steamboat football favored to perform well in final month

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Season statistics

Steamboat Opponent

73 First Downs 78

183-1,239 Rushes-Yards 265-1,059

47-91-6 Comp-Att-Int 27-90-4

750 Yards Passing 381

1,989 Total Yards 1,440

14-33 Punts-Avg. 19-36

16-4 Fumbles-lost 15-2

51-410 Penalties-Yards 39-297

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Steamboat: 62-57-37-35-191

Opponent: 29-28-21-21-097

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing:

S: Hinder 53-397, 7 TD; Fraser Egan 54-355, 5 TD; Joe Dover 53-441, 5 TD; Charles Wood 5-26, 1 TD; Dustin Siegel 10-45; Cody Harris 1-8; Jasper Gantick 1-(-19); Eric Bonner 3-15, 1 TD; Michael Savory 2-(-10).

Passing:

S: Hinder 46-89-6, 754 yards, 5 TD; Savory 1-2-0, minus-4 yards.

Receiving:

S: Alex Wood 17-361, 4 TD; Cody Harris 7-157; Dover 13-151; Nelson Brassell 3-29; Gantick 1-11; Charles Wood 1-3; Jack Spady 1-3; Dylan Pivarnik 1-11, 1 TD; Bonner 1-11; Siegiel 1-(-4).

— Now that the season has passed the halfway point, it will be telling how the Steamboat Springs High School football team addresses the last four weeks.

Despite being secured in one of the three playoff spots in the Western Slope League, the Sailors have to find a way to remain focused during the season's final month, when they'll be heavily favored to win three games.

The final game of the season against Glenwood Springs has the potential to be for a league title or the No. 2 seed in the league heading into the playoffs.

But before that happens, Steamboat has to focus on the next three weeks, when the team plays Battle Mountain at rival Moffat County and then at Class 2A Buena Vista.

"You got to take each game at a time. You can't overlook anybody," Steamboat coach Aaron Finch said. "We need to keep focusing on ourselves and keep getting better. We're not as good of football team as we can be yet. That's what we're trying to focus on. We do it for a quarter. Then we get loose again."

On Friday at Rifle, Steamboat showed it has the potential to belong at the top of the state.

The Sailors jumped to a 25-0 lead in the first half, doing most of their work on the ground.

But in the third and fourth quarters, Steamboat and Rifle each scored a lone touchdown. The slowdown partly was because Steamboat had the lead and could afford to sit on the ball. Finch, however, said he'd like to see his team keep its focus for all four quarters - and all four games remaining.

"We just need to keep improving," Sailors quarterback Austin Hinder said. "People think some games we play, we should definitely win. Those have to be the games we do everything perfect. It needs to be a steady pace and keep going up and up and up."

Unless something goes strangely wrong, Steamboat should win its next three games. Battle Mountain is winless this year, Moffat County is young and in the process of rebuilding, and Buena Vista - while a power in Class 2A - should be beatable.

If Steamboat's able to do that, the team will set up the showdown with Glenwood Springs. Although Finch said there is no way Steamboat can overlook any game, the biggest thing for the Sailors is to use these last four weeks to focus on getting better for the playoffs.

"I'm proud of the guys," Finch said. "We've done a really good job this year of executing. We have some great athletes that love playing football and do a great job of it. It's fun to coach them and see what they can do. I just get worried about us playing an entire game like we need to. We need to do that to get where we have the potential to get to."

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