Steamboat Springs High School junior Maury Mirante fends off a Montrose defenseman while running the ball down the field during the first half of Friday night's game.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs High School junior Maury Mirante fends off a Montrose defenseman while running the ball down the field during the first half of Friday night's game.

Steamboat falls to Montrose, 40-7

Montrose blows game open in second half

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The Steamboat defense takes down a Montrose runner.

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Steamboat Springs High School senior Randall Nelson runs the ball up the field during the first half of Friday night's game against Montrose.

— The Steamboat Springs High School football team found its groove for a half Friday night against Montrose.

Now, with its Western Slope League opener on the horizon, Steamboat has to find a way to turn that half into a whole.

The Sailors (0-3 overall) held their first lead of the year and trailed by only one possession at half, but 40 unanswered points from the Indians (4-0 overall) proved too much. Montrose exited Gardner Field with a 40-7 win.

Steamboat jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter and trailed just 13-7 at halftime, before Montrose started to get defensive stops and churn out yards.

“I’m hugely disappointed in the loss, especially going from 13-7 to 40-7,” Steamboat coach Lonn Clementson said. “I’m still happy where we are compared to where we started.”

After Steamboat put together a few good series in its opening game and a good quarter in its second contest, it looked as if the Sailors might have finally found something Friday.

Steamboat marched 14 plays and 80 yards in 6 minutes, 17 seconds on its first drive of the game, capping it with a 5-yard Charles Wood touchdown for a 7-0 lead.

But from that moment on, the Steamboat offense struggled.

Outside of the first drive that yielded 70 yards — there were 10 yards in Montrose penalties — Steamboat’s offense produced only 109 yards the rest of the game. In the second half, the Sailors were limited to just 2.1 yards per play.

“We just couldn’t figure out what type of plays were going to work,” said Steamboat quarterback Christian Ramirez, who threw for 44 yards and rushed for 44. “We just couldn’t figure out anything that was working.”

Montrose got two first-half touchdown runs from Roland McLaren to put the score at 13-7.

The Indians took off in the third quarter. It started with Bryce Gaber’s 6-yard run to make it 20-7. Montrose held on defense and on its second play of the next drive, Indians quarterback Drew Casebier found McLaren — who finished with 204 yards rushing and receiving — wide open in the middle of the field for a 72-yard touchdown pass and a 26-7 lead.

Casebier hooked up with Johnathan Sierra from 15 yards out toward the end of the third quarter to make it 33-7.

D.J. Mudgett scored from a yard out late in the fourth quarter for the final result.

“Steamboat did a good job in the first half,” said Montrose coach Todd Casebier, whose team gained 463 yards while giving up just 189. “Their kids did a good job and I thought we weren’t as focused as we needed to be. Our defense started giving us the ball back and we started tackling better. I was pretty happy with our offense overall. Once we made some adjustments, we were fine.”

Now, the Sailors look toward the opening of Western Slope League play. Steamboat plays at 7 p.m. Friday at home against Eagle Valley.

“Winning heals a lot of those things that seem overly emphasized now,” Clementson said. “There are still lots of things we can correct. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We’re much closer now than we were three weeks ago."

Statistics

Montrose

First Downs 17

Rushes-Yards 49-312

Comp-Att-Int 6-9-0

Yards Passing 151

Total Yards 463

Punts-Avg. 2-37.5

Fumbles-lost 1-1

Penalties-Yards 12-100

Steamboat

First Downs 12

Rushes-Yards 40-145

Comp-Att-Int 4-11-1

Yards Passing 44

Total Yards 189

Punts-Avg. 5-27.5

Fumbles-lost 6-1

Penalties-Yards 3-20

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Montrose 06-07-20-07—40

Steamboat 07-00-00-00—7

SCORING SUMMARY

First Quarter

S — 5:43, Charles Wood 5 run. (Landen Mertz kick).

M — 2:44, Roland McLaren 36 run. (Kick fail).

Second Quarter

M — 1:25, McLaren 1 run. (Cory English kick).

Third Quarter

M — 10:12, Bryce Gaber 6 run. (English kick).

M — 6:53, McLaren 72 pass from Drew Casebier. (Kick fail).

M — 5:00, Johnathan Sierra 15 pass from Casebier. (English kick).

Fourth Quarter

M — 6:08, D.J. Mudgett 1 run. (English kick).

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing

M: McLaren 13-132, 2 TD; Gaber 16-89, 1 TD; Casebier 5-26; Mudgett 8-33; Trevor Rodak 4-24; Kordell Bradshaw 0-0; Marcus Velasques 2-8.

S: Maury Mirante 11-47; Christian Ramirez 9-44; Wood 8-27, 1 TD; John Burrow 6-3; Michael Savory 3-9; Evan Hornstein 2-8; Dylan Preston 1-(-2).

Passing

M: Casebier 6-9-0, 151 yards 2 TD

S: Ramirez 4-11-1, 44 yards.

Receiving

M: Sierra 4-61, 1 TD, Gaber 1-18, McLaren 1-72, 1 TD.

S: Randall Nelson 4-44

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