Steamboat sinks Glenwood
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Back to punt on fourth-and-6 from his team’s own 24-yard-line, Joe Dover surveyed the defense and saw something he liked. The Steamboat Springs senior received the long snap from his center and took off to the outside.
“That was supposed to be a punt,” Dover said. “I saw the edge and said, ‘I’m taking this.’ I couldn’t not take it.”
Up 21-14 over host Glenwood Springs early in the fourth quarter, Dover seized the opportunity, scrambling outside for 22 yards to earn a first down that kept an 80-yard touchdown drive alive.
Moments later, Sailors quarterback Austin Hinder dove into the end zone on a sneak and Steamboat was well on its way to a 30-21 win – and its first 3A Western Slope League title since 2006.
Dover’s gutsy call had a lot to do with it on an unseasonably warm Friday in Glenwood.
“It was either get the first down and the game’s ours or punt it and we’ve still got to fight,” he said. “I figured, ‘Let’s end it now.'”
The scrappy back/punter finished with 125 yards on 14 carries and Hinder chipped in four TDs – two with his arm and two with his legs – and 252 total yards as the Sailors held off an equally scrappy Glenwood squad chasing a third straight 3A WSL crown.
“I knew it was going to be a battle the whole game,” Glenwood quarterback Luke Jacob said. “It just sucks to lose. We’re just learning how to fight through the whole game.”
Jacob finished with 209 yards and two TDs on 14-of-26 passing. Tyler Thulson added 87 yards rushing and a score on 18 carries as the Demons rallied from a 14-0 first-quarter deficit to make a game of it.
Hinder gave the Sailors (10-0, 8-0 in the 3A WSL) that lead by connecting with Jack Spady on a 56-yard scoring pass and then hitting Dover with a 24-yard strike. Both were in the first quarter and the latter TD followed a Glenwood lost fumble that set Steamboat up with the ball at the Demon 25-yard line.
But Glenwood clawed its way back into the game, driving 65 yards on its ensuing possession. Thulson legged out the final 12 of those yards to pull the Demons to within 14-7.
The Sailors extended that advantage to 21-7 at the 7 minute, 11 second mark in the third quarter when Hinder faked a handoff and darted 2 yards for a score.
Dover cut the Demons’ next possession short by picking off a downfield heave from Jacob. Steamboat then marched all the way to the Glenwood 28 before turning the ball over on downs.
That delivered new life to the Demons, who countered by marching 72 yards for a score.
Trey Fox capped it off by hauling in a fourth-down pass from Jacob, shedding a tackler and then heading up the right sideline a bit before cutting inside and reaching the end zone. Jacob and Fox covered a total of 35 yards on the play, cutting the Sailors’ lead down to a TD.
Then came Dover’s heroics and that game-icing Steamboat drive.
Glenwood scored once more when Jacob hit Garrett Kobobel with a 9-yard scoring pass. The Demons followed with an onside kick try that the Sailors gobbled up.
Peter Schuette added a 21-yard field goal for Steamboat to round out the final score of this regular season finale.
Dover did it all for the Sailors on Friday, blocking a first-quarter field goal and coming up with an interception on defense. On offense, he ran for 125 yards, caught four passes for 35 yards and even completed a pass for 25.
Hinder hit on 9 of 21 passes for 181 yards and finished with 71 yards on the ground for Steamboat. Jack Spady hauled in five catches for 145 yards.
Fox caught four balls for 91 yards for the Demons, while Jacob had 72 rushing yards to go along with his 209 yards through the air.
Jacob would rather have had a victory, though.
“We wanted to win,” said Jacob, whose 6-4 Demons finished second in league and are bound for the postseason. “This is probably one of our top rivalries, besides Rifle.”
And quite a rivalry at that. Steamboat and Glenwood have now combined to win the last four 3A WSL titles.
“That was a good game,” Sailors head coach Aaron Finch said. “Other than last year, it seems like every game with Glenwood is like that. Even when we’re up and they’re down, or vice versa, it’s a good game. And that was another.”
The Glenwood-Steamboat rivalry dates way back. An oft-referenced chapter of the showdown played out from 1978 to 1980, a three-year time frame in which a pair of Demon state titles flanked a 1979 championship for the Sailors.
During the 1978 and 1980 regular seasons, Steamboat beat Glenwood in the regular season. In 1979, the Demons defeated the Sailors during league play.
In all three cases, the losing team went on to win a state title. It was a bizarre stretch of seasons that those associated with the Glenwood program often bring up.
Glenwood broke the trend last year, winning a state title despite defeating Steamboat during the regular season.
Time will tell if the trend resurfaces again, some three decades later.
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