SHS beats West Grand in 14-13 thriller
FARMER’S KORNER – It couldn’t have gotten much better for the Summit High School football team in its opener Friday night.Down 13-6 to visiting West Grand, junior running back Pat Dooney scored his second touchdown of the game on 4th and goal from a yard out with 1:13 to go. Then senior quarterback Jimmy Stein hit classmate Mike Holloway on a tight end pop pass for the winning two-point conversion.The victory was the Tigers’ first home win in two years.”It was awesome, awesome,” Holloway said of the two-point conversion, which came on a play the SHS coaching staff drew up at halftime after recognizing the Mustangs’ safety was creeping up too close.”Just the greatest feeling once I saw the scoreboard and we were up by one,” said Holloway.
“Exhiliration,” said SHS coach Rob Royer after the game, in between whoops of joy. “What do you say? I think it was the character of these kids that won this game.”The two-point catch was Holloway’s only grab of the game, and it highlighted a thrilling final five minutes of play that kept a crowd of 400-plus on the edge of their seats until the game was over.With 4:57 to go and West Grand in complete control since halftime, the Tigers stuffed the Mustangs on three straight plays to force a punt. Summit got a huge break when the kick bounced backward and ended up seven yards behind the original line of scrimmage.Stein hit Nilson for a gain of 10 on the opening play of the drive, but the senior QB dropped to the turf after the play and had to come out with cramps in both his calves.That left quarterback duties to unproven freshman Scott Campbell, who was thrust into the middle of things at a time when Summit needed leadership under center more than anything else.But the lefty was cool as can be, leading SHS down the field toward the goal line. Senior tailback Brandon Ives came up huge all drive, as did Nilson.
The biggest play came on 4th and 6 from the 15, when Ives sprinted around right end and fought for every inch necessary to keep the drive alive.”I knew what we needed,” he said later of the crucial run. “I was actually going for the touchdown, but that’s what I try to do every play.”After Nilson and Ives combined to get the Tigers from the 9 to the 1, Dooney plowed into the line and stretched the ball across for his second score.Then Royer sent Stein back in to throw the two-point pass, and the home crowd and sideline went nuts.”He said he was ready,” said Royer of his senior QB. “We needed him to throw it. It wasn’t a pretty ball, but it found (Holloway’s hands).”
West Grand – located north of Silverthorne in Kremmling – extended its halftime lead from 7-6 to 13-6 on a play-action pass with 4:06 to go in the third quarter. Chase Underbrink, who plays hockey for Summit High in the winter, bobbled but caught Devon Scholl’s bullet and ran untouched into the end zone for what seemed like the sealing score.But John Rodger missed the extra point, giving the Tigers just a bit more life.In the first quarter, the teams traded scores when West Grand’s Pete Hargadine returned a Stein fumble 45 yards for a touchdown and Dooney set up his own three-yard score with a long rumble to get the Tigers close.Late hits: Summit plays Woodland Park next week on the road … Scholl was ejected after punching Summit’s Hugh Fairfield Smith in the helmet late in the game out of frustration … Although mild for the first half, the weather turned bitter in the second when a light rain was made worse by a biting wind … SHS’ Ben Fridkis stripped the ball from Underbrink in the second quarter to save a sure touchdown that would’ve put the Mustangs up 13-6.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at email@example.com.
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