Steamboat Springs quarterback Austin Hinder completed only one of four passes for 31 yards Friday night against Battle Mountain. But the Sailors didn't need Hinder's golden arm as Steamboat's rushing attack was more than enough to defeat Battle Mountain, 61-21.
Sailors running back Joe Dover rushed for 206 yards and three touchdowns on just seven carries, while Hinder dashed five times for 124 yards and two scores. Hinder and Dover each threw a touchdown pass, and the Sailors, ranked No. 1 by Maxpreps.com and No. 2 by The Denver Post, cruised to 7-0 overall in 6-0 in the Slope.
"The thing we asked of our guys is to come in here and start hard, play and compete and get better," Sailors coach Aaron Finch said. "That's what we've been talking about all year. We did some good things tonight."
The Huskies did move the ball, but they struggled at key times.
"We moved the ball the down the field, and we couldn't finish our drives like we have the last couple of weeks," Huskies coach David Joyce said. "The last couple of weeks, we had gotten better at finishing our drives, and it seemed like tonight, we'd miss one block or we couldn't break a tackle like we've been doing. It was frustrating."
The Sailors needed just two plays - a 21-yards run from Dover and a 47-yarder from Hinder - and Steamboat was rolling.
Dover broke off touchdown runs of 50, 60 and 60 yards in the first half.
Given that the senior fractured his back when he was in eighth grade and only had it correctly diagnosed last year, Finch is really excited for his running back.
"He's getting faster every game," Finch said. "He working his way into shape and doing the things he had the potential to do. You saw the burst he has tonight."
Hinder hooked up with Dylan Pivarnik for a 31-yard TD strike as the Sailors led, 41-0 at the half.
Hinder started the second half with a 53-yard scamper, and then Steamboat put in its reserves. With a running clock, Battle Mountain did show some fight in its homecoming game.
Jon Simpson, who ran hard all night, got the Huskies' first score with a 3-yard plunge. Quarterback Jake Engle fired a 21-yard touchdown pass to Cody Hervert. Steamboat answered with a 47-yard touchdown from Dover to Jack Spady. Spady also picked a pass and returned it 29 yards for a touchdown in the first half. Steamboat is home at 7 p.m. Oct. 23 for rival Moffat County.