Roaring Fork falls to Battle Mountain at home
CARBONDALE — Coming into Friday night’s Western Slope League game with Battle Mountain, Roaring Fork head coach Jeff Kelley was expecting a close, hard-fought contest between his league-leading Rams and the visiting Huskies.
Things turned out just as the coach predicted, but unfortunately for Roaring Fork, the final 24-14 outcome was in favor of Battle Mountain.
“We didn’t play as well as we are capable of,” said Kelley. “I told the kids it’s not the end of the world. We can still control our own destiny in the league by winning the next three games.”
It looked like things might turn out to be easy for the home team early on as senior Tyler Spence took the opening kickoff 53 yards to set his team up nicely in Battle Mountain territory before the Carbondale faithful had even settled comfortably into their seats. It took just five more plays for the Rams to get on the board as Spence cleaned up the final three yards of the drive by plunging into the end zone. The PAT by Colin O’Gorman made it 7-0 in favor of the blue and gold.
Battle Mountain’s defense began to figure out the Rams, and their offense started to move the ball steadily into Roaring Fork territory. A 60-yard drive that started midway through the first quarter was culminated by Battle Mountain running back Noah Shamis as he bullied his way two yards to a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter to knot the game at 7-7.
Neither team could mount much offensively for the rest of the half, and when Battle Mountain kicker Chase Keep missed a 20-yard field goal that could have given his team a slim advantage, both teams headed to intermission with 7’s on their side of the scoreboard.
The final half of play started with Roaring Fork’s offense on the move after the Ram defense forced a Battle Mountain punt on their initial possession. The Ram momentum was stopped though, when a pass by quarterback Hayden Bernot was tipped and fell into the arms of a Battle Mountain defensive back.
Shamis scored his second touchdown of the evening for the visitors on a 2-yard run just minutes later to give the Huskies a 14-7 advantage.
Spence, who finished the night with 98 yards on 12 carries for the Rams, wasn’t about to let his team trail for long. Spence bolted 61 yards toward the north end zone to set up a Bernot quarterback sneak. Roaring Fork had tied the game once again, and seemed to have wrestled back some momentum in its favor.
The back-breaking play of the game for Roaring Fork came late in the third quarter when Battle Mountain quarterback Demetrius Parrish hit receiver Wyatt Harwood on a third down slant pass. The speedy Harwood then outraced everyone to the end zone to post a 21-14 Huskie advantage. Battle Mountain tacked on a 47-yard field goal by kicker Chase Keep with 3:49 left in the contest to put the game out of reach.
Roaring Fork (3-3, 1-1 WSL) will travel up Highway 82 next Friday to face the rival Longhorns of Basalt.
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