Battle Mountain stuns SHS on Homecoming
FARMER’S KORNER – Nobody was expecting this.In their first gridiron meeting since 2001, Battle Mountain shocked Vail Pass rival Summit High 37-8 on a chilly Friday night at Farmer’s Korner, spoiling the Tigers’ Homecoming.The Huskies, who went into the game 1-2, stifled Summit’s bread-and-butter running game and turned a 14-0 halftime lead into a rout in the second half.”We didn’t come to play,” said SHS senior tailback Nick Nilsen. “They wanted it more than us. It tears me up inside to say that.”In a sloppy game that saw 12 fumbles between the two teams, Battle Mountain used the first of five Summit turnovers to strike first. The Huskies recovered Tigers tailback Brandon Ives’ fumble at their own 40, then drove 60 yards in nine plays and scored on quarterback TJ Montoya’s 3-yard plunge with 8:19 to go in the second quarter.Until then the game was evenly matched, but the Huskies used that drive to begin a physical domination that would carry them the rest of the game.
Montoya essentially ran QB sneaks for the final two plays, taking the snap and following his larger linemen as they plowed through Summit’s undersized D-line.”I didn’t expect them to be more physical than us, but that’s what they were,” said SHS coach Rob Royer, whose team dropped to 2-2.The Tigers gave up a series of big plays, too, which didn’t help. After a penalty on the Huskies’ next possession pushed them back to their own 25, Montoya found a streaking Phil Van Buren down the left sideline for a 75-yard score that put the Huskies up 14-0.Summit tried to answer three minutes later, but after senior QB Jimmy Stein hooked up with Ives on a 43-yard stop-and-go on 3rd and 22 to get the Tigers within striking distance, the offense stalled. They went from 1st and goal at the 4 to a turnover on downs four incompletions later.”We didn’t take advantage of the opportunities that we had,” said Nilsen.
It didn’t get any easier in the second half, as Battle Mountain struck for 17 third-quarter points and added a final score early in the fourth period to put it away.Huskies running back Travis Scholl scored twice in that span, on runs of 31 and 51 yards. Senior D-lineman Ken Roberts snatched a Stein fumble out of the air and rumbled 29 yards for the Huskies’ final touchdown of the third quarter.Summit finally got on the board with 3:19 remaining on a 1-yard dive by junior Pat Dooney, but by then it was all but over. Promising freshman QB Scott Campbell’s 67-yard pass to tight end Mike Holloway set up the score. Holloway broke two tackles after hauling in Campbell’s perfect spiral, but was tripped up just short of the goal line.Campbell connected with Ryan Eberhart for the 2-point conversion.Despite the late touchdown, Summit’s players expected a lot more in their biggest game yet.
“It seemed like we prepared. We’ve been thinking about this game for two weeks,” said Holloway, who finished with a game-high 94 yards receiving on four catches. “Once the game ended, we saw the scoreboard … it was a big shock to all of us.”Ives finished with with 139 all-purpose yards (77 receiving, 41 rushing, 21 on kickoff returns), and Stein completed six of 18 passes for 104 yards and an interception.Junior Jordan McCarthy had a big night on defense for Summit, finishing with three sacks and forcing and recovering separate fumbles. Dooney, John Baker and Holloway also recovered fumbles.Late hits: The Tigers won the last meeting between the intermountain rivals, 16-7 in Eagle-Vail … Both teams had to endure out-of-the-ordinary practice schedules this week, after unseasonable snow wreaked havoc on their normal routines … In a sight that spoke to the rivalry, by the second quarter there were barely any seats left on the bleachers, forcing many fans to stand … Summit plays at Buena Vista next Friday, starting at 7 p.m. … Nick Lee and Joanna Domagalski were crowned Homecoming king and queen at halftime.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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