Steamboat football picks up huge win against Palisade | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat football picks up huge win against Palisade

Luke Graham

Hope you enjoyed dinner, Austin Hinder. You deserved it.

The Steamboat Springs High School quarterback – unable to keep any food down, save for five Tums antacids Friday, and his nerves buzzing about Palisade – had a banner day and another career game Friday as Sailors outlasted the Bulldogs, 28-21, in a game between the Western Slope League’s finest.

It’s the first time Steamboat beat Palisade in two years and marks the first significant win for the Sailors in that same time period.

Hinder, who tried and failed to eat breakfast, completed 23 of 28 passes for 259 yards and a touchdown. He also carried the ball 19 times for 102 yards and another touchdown.

“We get in a rhythm, and it’s just bam, bam, bam,” Hinder said. “It really feels like we’re unstoppable. Last year, they got up, and we gave up. This year it wasn’t close to that.”

Hinder looked as polished as he had all year and especially in the second half. After starting just 2 of 5, he went on to complete 21 of his next 23 passes.

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In the second half alone, he was 18 of 20, including hitting 11 passes in a row.

Still, the game wasn’t decided until the final 12 minutes.

Steamboat (5-0 overall, 4-0 in league play) took a 20-14 lead late in the third quarter after Palisade (3-3, 3-1) had its lone turnover on a fumble on a kickoff. Hinder’s 7-yard run put Steamboat up, but the snap on the extra point was mishandled.

Palisade, as it has done for what seems like forever, methodically moved the ball down the field. Terry Williams capped off a 17-play drive from a yard out to give the Bulldogs a 21-20 lead with 11 minutes, 39 seconds left in the game.

That’s when the Steamboat offense went into Hinder mode.

The University of California commit went 8 for 8 on the ensuing drive, including a big fourth down conversion at the Palisade 14-yard line. Three plays later, Steamboat’s Joe Dover scored his second rushing touchdown from a yard out. Steamboat went for the two-point conversion to put the score to 28-21 with 6:06 left in the game.

The Bulldogs still had a chance. Palisade moved the ball down to the Steamboat 39-yard line. But on a fourth and three play, Steamboat’s defense came up huge.

“We just got to get tough. They made plays and stopped us on fourth down,” Palisade coach John Arledge said. “I like our chances in that situation. Our hats off to them.”

Steamboat got the ball with 3:40 left in the game and converted three first downs to end the game.

The win puts Steamboat in the driver’s seat in the Western Slope League. If the team is able to win out, Friday’s big game victory will almost assure Steamboat a top 3 seed in the Class 3A playoffs.

But, for now, all that can wait.

“I don’t care what the rankings are as long as we’re there at the end of the year,” Steamboat coach Aaron Finch said. “We need to enjoy this. The players need to enjoy this. That is a year of incredible hard work right there.”

Steamboat next plays at 7 p.m. at Gardner Field on Friday against Rifle.

Game statistics

Palisade, Steamboat Springs

16, First Downs, 23

54-209, Rushes-Yards, 32-129

3-4-0, Comp-Att-Int, 23-28-0

34, Yards Passing, 259

243, Total Yards, 388

4-49, Punts-Avg., 2-36

1-1, Fumbles-lost, 5-1

8-77, Penalties-Yards, 3-30

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Palisade , 07-07-00-07-21

Steamboat, 00-07-13-08-28

SCORING SUMMARY

First Quarter

P – 7:45, Jesse Brannon 17 run. (Cody Blackmon kick).

Second Quarter

SS – 4:23, Joe Dover 2 run. (Pete Schuette kick).

P – 0:09, Brannon 3 run. (Blackmon kick).

Third Quarter

SS – 7:31, Jack Spady 35 pass from Austin Hinder. (Schuette kick).

SS – 5:10, Hinder 7 run. (kick fail).

Fourth Quarter

P – 11:39, Terry Williams 1 run. (Blackmon kick).

SS – 6:06, Dover 1 run. (Dylan Pivarnik from Hinder).

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing

P: Sean Dunn 12-39; Jesse Brannon 23-99, 2TD; Terry Williams 17-51, 1TD; Jordan Salazar 2-20.

SS: Dover 10-20, 2 TD; Hinder 19-102, 1TD; Connor Landusky 3-7.

Passing

P: Salazar 3-4-0, 34 yards.

SS: Hinder 23-28-0, 259yards, 1 TD.

Receiving

P: Brannon 2-13; Jamie Rhodes 1-21.

SS: Jack Spady 9-128, 1 TD; Dover 9-84; Cody Harris 2-16; Jack Verploeg 1-16; Pivarnik 3-15.