Steamboat Springs High School junior Pete Schuette kicks the ball Thursday as the Sailors prepare for Saturday’s 1 p.m. showdown against Windsor.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Steamboat Springs High School junior Pete Schuette kicks the ball Thursday as the Sailors prepare for Saturday’s 1 p.m. showdown against Windsor.

Steamboat football prepares for showdown with Windsor

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Members of the Steamboat Springs High School football team leap down the field Thursday as they prepare for Saturday’s playoff game against Windsor at Gardner Field.

If you go

What: No. 4 Steamboat vs. No. 5 Windsor Class 3A second-round playoff game

When: 1 p.m. Saturday

Where: Gardner Field at Steamboat Springs High School

Ticket prices: Adults $7, students and seniors $5. Tickets can be purchased in advance from the Steam­boat Springs High School’s main office.

Season statistics

Steamboat/Statistic/Opponent

152/First Downs/147

301-2,241/Rushes-Yards/395-1,512

133-225-5/Comp-Att-Int/103-211-18

1,745/Yards Passing/1,218

3,986/Total Yards/2,890

21-33/Punts-Avg./39-35

24-6/Fumbles-lost/20-12

79-663/Penalties-Yards/89-756

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Opponent 21-27-34-88—170

Steamboat 125-168-75-77—445

■ Rushing

Connor Landusky 31-103, 1 TD; Austin Hinder 121-769, 11 TD; Dylan Pivarnik 12-54, 1 TD; Jake Miller 1-(-1); Joe Dover 109-1,139, 19 TD; Michael Savory 8-65, 1 TD; Evan Hornstein 6-75, 1 TD; Tyler Samlowski 8-32, 1 TD; Jack Verploeg 3-7; Bryce Mayo 2- (-2).

■ Passing

Hinder 126-210-4, 1,655 yards, 21 TD; Miller 1-2-1, 8 yards; Savory 3-10-0, 8 yards; Dover 3-3-0, 74 yards, 1 TD.

■ Receiving

Verploeg 19-155, 2 TD; Jack Spady 47-831, 10 TD; Cody Harris 10-67, 1 TD; Pivarnik 15-214, 4 TD; Bryce Mayo 6-52, 1 TD; Landusky 2-20; Dover 32-392, 4 TD; Sam Robards 1-8; Jackson Coe 1-6.

— At least for the moment, things are back to normal for the Steamboat Springs High School football team.

With a week separating the team from its first-round Class 3A playoff victory against Berthoud, and on the eve of its second-round showdown with Windsor, Steamboat coach Aaron Finch said this week feels more like the rest of them.

Finch, who has guided the Sailors to the playoffs five straight seasons, said everything surrounding the Berthoud game made for an interesting week. First, there was the emotional win the week before against Glenwood Springs, and then there were two days off school because of parent-teacher conferences. Combine those factors with a team that hadn’t previously experienced a lot of postseason success, and it was clear the Sailors were knocked out of their rhythm.

Playing against Berthoud, the team was “as tight as I’ve seen this group all year,” Finch said. “That’s not necessarily our style. It felt like the pods from outer space captured our team. It wasn’t quite the same group we coached all season. This week, we really seem to be ourselves. There is a bounce in our step. Now it’s down to eight teams and everybody is good.”

The first round of the Class 3A playoffs played to the script. All the higher seeds advanced, save for No. 9 Delta’s 14-6 win against No. 8 D’Evelyn. There are no real Cinderellas left, just eight Popeyes.

For Steamboat, the focus is on Windsor, a team that is 9-2 and finished second in the Tri-Valley Conference.

Windsor’s lone losses came to Class 4A Northridge and Class 3A, No. 3 seed Mountain View. Windsor beat Berthoud, 35-13, in the third week of the season. Steamboat beat Berthoud, 24-13, last week.

“That was so long ago,” Windsor coach Chris Jones said about the Berthoud win. “Berthoud improved as the season has gone along. We try to not live in the past too much.”

The Wizards run a 3-5 front on defense and run a variation of the triple option on offense. The option is a hybrid of the Air Force and Navy offenses people might be familiar with.

Windsor is led by a potent running game that has averaged 268 yards a game. Running back Conner Glenn is third in rushing in Class 3A with 1,670 yards and 19 touchdowns.

Although Glenn has put up big numbers, it might be quarterback Trevor Okomoto who is the heart of the team. Okomoto has thrown for 800 yards, run for 600 more and contributed 17 touchdowns

“I think the guy that is most impressive is Okomoto,” Finch said. “He’s just a tough kid. He runs the offense really well, makes great reads and doesn’t go down easy. He looks like he is quite the load to bring down.”

With the triple option, Finch said it’s imperative the defense plays with discipline. Although Windsor likes to grind out drives, one mental mistake can lead to quick scores for the Wizards.

The key could be if Steamboat is able to jump out to a quick lead. The Sailors have outscored opponents, 293-48, in the first halves of games this season.

“It’ll be tough,” Jones said. “We’ve got to defend a field 53 yards wide and 100 yards long against all of those guys.”

Should Steamboat jump out quick Saturday, it could change the way the Windsor offense likes to operate. While Okomoto is a more than capable quarterback, he is completing less than 50 percent of his passes and has thrown five interceptions.

“If you can score quicker and more often than your opponent, you’re in pretty darn good shape,” Finch said. “Playing with a lead is a good place to be. It allows you to take some more risks.”

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


3 Keys to the Game

1. Can Windsor run the ball against Steamboat?

Last week, Steamboat limited Berthoud’s rushing attack to 2.4 yards a carry. But Windsor brings in perhaps the best ground attack Steamboat has seen all year. The Wizards average 268 yards a game on the ground. Running back Conner Glenn is third in Class 3A with 1,670 yards and 19 touchdowns.

2. Will Steamboat’s special teams continue to shine?

Last week, Joe Dover had two huge returns — one for a 70-yard touchdown — that turned the tide of the game. Kicker Pete Schuette has hit two big field goals the past two weeks to secure wins against Glenwood and Berthoud.

3. Who will win the turnover battle?

Although Steamboat quarterback Austin Hinder had an unusual day with two interceptions last week against Berthoud, the Sailors still won the turnover battle. Steamboat forced three Berthoud turnovers on its way to a win. On the season, the Sailors are plus-19 in turnover differential.


Starting lineups

Steamboat Springs

Defense

DL — Carl Steele, 6-0, 210

DL — Keenan Starbuck, 6-3, 185

DL — Darian Buelter, 6-0, 195

LB — Mitch Lekarczyk, 6-0, 180

LB — Cody Harris, 6-2, 200

LB — Michael Savory, 6-1, 165

LB — Bryce Mayo, 5-11, 180

LB — Jack Verploeg, 6-2, 180

DB — Jack Spady, 6-3, 180

DB — Dylan Pivarnik, 5-10, 150

DB — Joe Dover, 5-11, 185

Offense

OL — Steele

OL — Andy Aranyosi, 6-0, 185

OL — Darian Buelter, 6-0, 195

OL — Tanner Anderson, 5-11, 185

OL — Drew Dummit, 6-0, 190

WR — Jack Spady, 6-3, 180

WR — Dylan Pivarnik, 5-10, 150

WR— Jack Verploeg, 6-2, 180

TE — Cody Harris, 6-2, 200

QB — Austin Hinder, 6-5, 185

RB — Joe Dover, 5-11, 185

Windsor

Defense

DT — Andre Bennett, 6-2, 190

NG — Josh Johnston, 6-2, 228

DT — Brett Hawley, 6-4, 215

LB — Nick Broeder, 5-10, 150

LB — Byron Brakke, 5-7, 172

LB — Kane Smith, 6-2, 185

LB — Garrett Weyhrich, 6-0, 223

LB — Kail Voigt, 6-2, 185

DB — Tanner Walker, 6-5, 186

DB — Conner Glenn, 6-1, 196

DB — Trevor Okamoto, 6-2, 195

Offense

OC — Adam Scheller, 6-2, 208

OG — Jarrod Winter, 6-0, 223

OG — DJ Knott, 6-2, 238

OT — Jordan Detterer, 6-4, 206

OT — Chris Farmer, 5-11, 203

RB — Conner Glenn, 6-1, 196

RB — Banning Lobmeyer, 5-11, 185

QB — Trevor Okamoto, 6-2, 195

WR/TE — Chris Prenger, 6-5, 190

WR/RB — Dante Dennis, 5-11, 153

WR — Andrew Schmidt, 6-1, 170

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