Sailors down Rams on homecoming in Cdale
Both the Steamboat Springs Sailors and the Roaring Fork Rams came into Friday night’s homecoming football contest in Carbondale searching for that elusive first victory of the 2017 season. It was the Sailors who came away with what they were looking for, as they used a solid running game to upend the still winless Rams by a score of 42-0 in the 2A Western Slope League game.
The Rams dug themselves a hole early as a rugby-style punt attempt never got off the ground, as the Steamboat defense snuffed the punt try in the backfield and set themselves up in good field position at the Roaring Fork 27-yard line.
From there, it took Steamboat eight plays, with the deciding snap being a short touchdown pass from Sailor junior quarterback Drew Bowers to lanky receiver Mac Riniker to put the visitors up 7-0 following Riley McCannon’s good PAT.
The Rams responded quickly on a 45-yard pass play from signal-caller Alexis Lopez to Jasper Germain for a gain down to the Sailor 30-yard line. It was all for naught as Roaring Fork ran out of downs at the Steamboat 16-yard line, and the hopes of an early score to pull even were dashed.
Steamboat then began to test the sides of the Roaring Fork defense as option quarterback Tanner Raper was inserted into the game. After helping to engineer nice gains on both the right and left side sweep plays, Raper decided to test out his arm, and the sophomore received high marks as he tossed a 16-yard touchdown to Tyler Doyne to give the Sailors a 13-0 lead that they would carry into the halftime break.
As the October evening chill began to set in, any thoughts of a Ram victory grew perceptibly cooler as the Sailors took the second half kickoff and methodically marched toward the south end zone for what would prove to be the game’s decisive score.
Behind the legs of running back Canon Reece and Raper, Steamboat peeled off a 9-play drive that culminated on a 7-yard run to the end zone by junior Ford Louden. With the 2-point conversion in the books, the Sailors led 21-0 with 7:17 showing on the clock.
Other than the long pass play on their second possession of the night, the Rams, dressed in all blue uniforms, were never able to gain any momentum on the offensive end of things, despite the hard, head-down style rushing of Lopez. Roaring Fork tested the airways with the pass on a limited basis, with not much success.
It was a Ram pass play that accounted for Steamboat’s fourth score of the contest, as Sailor defensive back Austin Ban stepped in front of the intended receiver, intercepting the ball and rambling 20 yards down the sideline for the score. The clock ticked away on Roaring Fork with the scoreboard reading 28-0 near the end of the third period.
Louden rambled for another touchdown to start the fourth quarter to the tune of 35 yards, moving the score to 35-0.
Roaring Fork Head Coach Matt Phelan saw some positives in his team’s play despite the lopsided homecoming loss.
“We moved the ball at times and we were pretty good up front on the line,” Phelan said. “We just made too many mistakes tonight and then things just snowballed on us in the second half. It’s all part of being young and inexperienced.”
Roaring Fork (0-6, 0-2 WSL), will now take to the road to face the Aspen Skiers next Friday night in another 2A WSL test.