Steamboat Springs High School senior Tyler Samlowski, No. 39, celebrates after senior Darian Buelter, No. 53, caught an interception in the end zone during Friday's game against Montezuma-Cortez. The Sailors won, 49-6.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs High School senior Tyler Samlowski, No. 39, celebrates after senior Darian Buelter, No. 53, caught an interception in the end zone during Friday's game against Montezuma-Cortez. The Sailors won, 49-6.

Sailors football cruises to big win

Steamboat passes Montezuma-Cortez, 49-6

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Game statistics

Cortez - Steamboat Springs

9 - First Downs - 16

20-11 - Rushes-Yards - 30-264

8-21-4 - Comp-Att-Int - 14-27-0

116 - Yards Passing - 155

127 - Total Yards - 419

5-29 - Punts-Avg. - 3-39

3-2 - Fumbles-lost - 0-0

10-70 - Penalties-Yards - 6-66

SCORE BY QUARTER

Montezuma-Cortez: 00-00-00-06-6

Steamboat: 17-14-06-12-49

SCORING SUMMARY

- First Quarter

SS: 9:25, Joe Dover 71 run. (Peter Schuette kick).

SS: 4:43, Schuette 20-yard FG.

SS: 1:00, Dylan Pivarnik 26 pass from Austin Hinder. (Schuette kick).

- Second Quarter

SS: 9:04, Hinder 24 run. (Schuette kick).

SS: 0:42, Dover 22 pass from Hinder. (Schuette kick).

- Third Quarter

SS: 8:45, Darian Buelter INT in end zone. (Kick fail).

- Fourth Quarter

MC: 6:29, Minh Phan 3 run. (Run fail).

SS: 2:17, Tyler Samlowski 1 run. (Pass fail).

SS: 1:37, Evan Hornstein 14 run. (Pass fail).

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

- Rushing

MC: Keenan Garcia 7-17; Ryan Haley 1-(-5); Minh Phan 5-8, 1 TD; Nolan George 2-2; Breen McComb 3-(14); Cyrus Lobue 2-3.

SS: Dover 6-98, 1TD; Hinder 6-58, 1TD; Pivarnik 5-24; Connor Landusky 5-23; Michael Savory 3-11; Hornstein 4-38, 1 TD; Samlowski 3-12, 1 TD.

- Passing

MC: McComb 8-21-4, 116 yards.

SS: Hinder 12-21-0, 146 yards, 2 TD; Savory 2-6-0, 9 yards; Jake Miller 1-2-0, 7 yards.

- Receiving

MC: Garcia 2-14; Haley 3-66; Phan 1-16; George 1-0; Scheis Anderson 1-20.

SS: Jack Verploeg 4-36; Jack Spady 2-19; Dover 4-51, 1 TD; Pivarnik 1-26, 1 TD; Cody Harris 2-12; Sam Robards 1-7.

— It took Darian Buelter three looks to see that he had realized a nose tackle's dream. He looked at his hands, looked up and then looked down and realized he was in the end zone. The burly Steamboat Springs High School senior's first career touchdown Friday against Montezuma-Cortez highlighted Steamboat's most complete football game of the year.

And while his third-quarter interception in the end zone had little bearing on the eventual outcome - Steamboat cruised to a 49-6 victory - it was something not many lineman experience.

"At the core, I'm a position coach. I'm an offensive and defensive line coach," Steamboat head coach Aaron Finch said after the game. "It's every linemen's dream to score a touchdown somehow. I never scored one. I couldn't be happier for Darian."

Buelter, who has played since fourth grade, said he's never come close to scoring a touchdown. But after a Jack Spady punt pinned the Panthers on their own 2-yard line, Buelter got his opportunity.

Bryce Mayo looked like he'd get the safety when the ball squirted out and found Buelter's arms to put Steamboat up 36-0.

"It was probably one of the best feelings I've ever had," Buelter said. "The ball landed in my arms. I didn't know what to think. I looked at it, I looked up, and I looked down and realized I was in the end zone."

Buelter's play was just a microcosm of a Steamboat defense that dominated from the first snap Friday.

The Sailors (3-0 overall, 2-0 in the Western Slope League) defense gave up just 127 yards and held the Panthers to 11 yards on the ground. Steamboat also forced six turnovers and didn't allow a first down until 27 seconds left in the first half.

"Mostly, we were focused on playing 48 minutes," linebacker Connor Landusky said. "It was all about the defense. It was going as hard as we could every single play. When we play our game, we're hard to beat."

Steamboat's offense wasn't needed to be the high-powered attack it normally is, but it didn't stop the Sailors from putting up points. Steamboat gained 419 yards of total offense and did pretty much whatever it wanted.

Steamboat took a 31-0 lead into halftime thanks to two touchdowns from Joe Dover - a 71-yard run and 22-yard reception - and touchdowns from Austin Hinder and Dylan Pivarnik.

In the fourth quarter, after the Panthers (0-3, 0-1) scored on a 3-yard run from Minh Phan, Tyler Samlowski and Evan Hornstein each scored rushing touchdowns for Steamboat to push the margin to 49-6

Still, the story was the defense.

"One of the best things I see coming out of this game is the defense flying around," Finch said. "They got that feeling going and continued it through. They played aggressively. It was exciting to see them play like we need them to play.

"We have better and better teams coming down the pipe. Tougher opponents are to come, so we need to keep getting better."

Steamboat next plays at 7 p.m. Friday at Eagle Valley.

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