Summit High football opens with tough loss; cross-country takes 9th, 17th in Colorado Springs | SummitDaily.com

Summit High football opens with tough loss; cross-country takes 9th, 17th in Colorado Springs

Summit High School football players practice in Tiger Stadium on Tuesday, Aug. 21, in Breckenridge.

It was a tough opening night for the Summit High School football team on the road versus the Salida Spartans Friday evening, as the Tigers fell 28-0.

Summit head coach John Shirkey attributed an inability to finish drives on both sides of the ball for the final score margin, which ballooned in the second half after the Tigers were competitive with the Spartans in the first half, trailing by just 6-0 at the intermission. For the entire game, Summit registered 23 first downs to Salida's 30.

Shirkey said the Tigers offense put itself in a position to score on its two opening drives, including a first drive where the Tigers offense marched 70 yards before being stopped on the Spartans doorstep at the 1-yard line. It was one of two drives where the Summit offense stalled out inside the Spartans 10-yard line in the first half. Summit was then stopped again in the red zone in a third quarter during which the Spartans increased their lead from 6-0 to 21-0.

"Part of that is being young and part is it being an early season thing," the third-year head coach said.

The head coach said he felt his offensive line played well for most of the game, aiding Noah Martens, Jack Pederson and the rest of the Tigers rushing attack in its ability to move the chains early. But three lost fumbles throughout the game contributed to doing the Tigers in.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Tigers were able to create three turnovers.

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"And when you can do that, you give yourself an opportunity," Shirkey said.

The head coach said the defense did a good job playing with its "9-5-9" defensive philosophy. It attempts to get a ton of tacklers to the ball on each play by having nine players move to within five yards of the ball 90 percent of the time post-snap.

But the Tigers defense did relent enough to give up two long chunk plays that led to touchdowns. In both cases, Shirkey said missed tackles were the reason behind the big Spartan gains.

The Tigers will play again next Friday night on the road at Moffat County at 7 a.m. Summit will return to the road the following two Fridays at 7 p.m. at Conifer on Sept. 7 and at Woodland Park on Sept. 14 before their home opener Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. versus Elizabeth.

Cross-country

The Summit Tigers varsity cross-country running team opened its season on Friday at the Cheyenne Mountain Stampede at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs.

To commence a season where the boys team hopes to have its strongest campaign in years, the Tigers ranked ninth of the 25 4A teams who traveled to the state-championship Colorado Springs course. On the girls side, the Tiger girls finished in 17th place of 22 teams.

In the boys race consisting of 180 runners, Tigers junior Jeremiah Vaille led the charge for Summit, finishing in 39th place with a time of 17:52 on the 5,000-meter course.

Vaille was trailed closely by teammates in fellow junior Max Bonenberger (41st place, 17:57.50) and sophomore Sam Burke (53rd place, 18:19.60).

The rest of the Tigers boys finishers included junior Sam Westcott (66th place, 18:38.30), senior Chris Rohlf (93rd place, 19:21.50), sophomore Korben Long (107th place, 19:46.70) and junior Mike Thebeau (112th place, 19:56.80).

In the 161-runner girls race, the Tigers were led by junior Grace Staberg, who crossed the finish line on the 5,000-meter course in 45th-place with a time of 21:46.10. Summit senior Morrison Donovan was next up for the Tigers, taking 66th place with a time of 23:17.20.

The rest of the Tigers girls finishers included freshman Aubree Confer (125th place, 26:45.80), sophomore Sadie Schroder (136th place, 28:14.50), freshman Rena Singleton (137th place, 28:15.10), junior Josie Jardon (146th place, 29:35.70) and junior Misha Martin Williams (152nd place, 31:08.90).

The Tigers will next compete on Saturday at the Battle Mountain Invitational at the Homestake Peak School, a meet that will begin at 10 a.m.