Coal Ridge Titans football earns convincing 45-6 win over Steamboat Springs Sailors | PostIndependent.com

Coal Ridge Titans football earns convincing 45-6 win over Steamboat Springs Sailors

Mike Vidakovich
sports@postindependent.com

The Coal Ridge Titans finished off the 2017 season on a high note Friday night at home by taking care of business against the Steamboat Springs Sailors by a convincing score of 45-6.

Following a game-opening senior night ceremony, Coal Ridge received the opening kickoff and wasted little time as it took the Titans only four plays to get on the scoreboard. The goal line was crossed on a 3-yard run by senior running back Jacx Power, and junior Oscar Salazar added the PAT for a quick 7-0 advantage.

Coal Ridge’s second drive of the night started at their own 35-yard line and was culminated on a 2-yard run by junior Jan Hernandez. The bulk of the impressive drive down the field was shouldered by Power who had several medium length gains on the ground to bully through the Sailor front line.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Titan line was stout, stuffing most Steamboat rushing attempts at the line of scrimmage or sacking Sailor sophomore quarterback Tanner Raper on passing attempts.

The biggest obstacle for Coal Ridge in the first half was a rash of holding penalties that ended up pushing the Titans in the wrong direction on several drives.

Trailing 14-0 with 8:55 to go until halftime, Sailor freshman Finn Russell slipped through the Titan line to block a punt attempt and scoop it up, galloping 25 yards to the end zone to give Steamboat some hope at 14-6.

Another Coal Ridge shot to the foot occurred on the ensuing kickoff as Hernandez raced, nearly untouched, 75 yards down the right side of the field for what looked like the Titans’ third touchdown of the night. It was not to be, though, as a block in the back penalty nullified the electrifying run and left Coal Ridge moving in the wrong direction again.

Salazar did add a straight and true 32-yard field goal just prior to the half as the Titans led 17-6 in the season’s final game for both teams.

“We told the kids at halftime that we needed to clean some things up on the field and play smart and stop the holding penalties,” said Coal Ridge Head Coach Bob Frederickson. “We knew we could stop them on defense and move the ball on offense in the second half.”

Steamboat’s second play from scrimmage to start the second half proved to be fatal to their hopes of a comeback victory as Coal Ridge defensive back Stephen Pizzelli picked off an errant Sailor pass and rambled 18 yards for a score to give his team a 24-6 lead.

Senior Michael Frederickson gave the Titans a bigger cushion at 31-6 when he plunged over the goal line with 8:29 left to play and put the game out of reach for Steamboat. Power again carried the load on the drive with several key runs to help Coal Ridge move the ball and set up Frederickson’s score.

With the big senior night win, Coal Ridge ends the season with a winning overall record at 5-4, and a Western Slope League mark of 2-3.

“We’re happy with the season and proud of the kids this year,” said Frederickson. “We’ll keep working hard and try to build on this season.”