Summit High Football struggles on homecoming, boys soccer draws Steamboat, Staberg runs to 6th in Loveland
It was a rough homecoming for the Summit High School varsity football team Friday night, as the Tigers fell to Elizabeth 31-6.
After the game, Summit head coach John Shirkey attributed the loss to a combination of early offensive turnovers in the first half, missing fundamental defensive assignments and injuries throughout the game and overall tiredness for the Tigers. Now heading into a bye week, Shirkey said the team will use the time off to heal numerous nagging injuries to key players and to rest up, as Summit has been relying on several main players to contribute heavily on both sides of the ball through its 1-4 start to the season.
The Cardinals of Elizabeth (2-2) executed their veer-option offense well in the first half to enter the break with a 17-0 lead. Led by a barrage of running backs and wingbacks charging through core gaps and off tackle, the Cardinals chewed up the Tigers defense on the ground. Elizabeth effectively put the game away on their first drive of the second half via a 38-yard touchdown run via a pitch off the right edge by wide receiver Mason Anthony. The score and ensuing PAT gave the Cardinals a 24-0 lead and capped a methodical 11-play drive on a crucial fourth down with three yards to go.
Shirkey said the Tigers defense prepared for the technicalities of the veer option, though it proved harder to stop once the game began.
“You have the option to give to the fullback, or the quarterback keeps it or pitches it,” Shirkey said. “And so it wasn’t anything we hadn’t talked about, hadn’t seen. It wasn’t anything fancy, but that’s the idea of that offense: they run it enough and you get undisciplined, and they make big plays, which we saw on the second touchdown in the first half to make it 17-0. It was a 35-yard run. We had a couple of guys in position to make plays, and we just didn’t.”
With the Cardinals eating up play after play and time off the clock with the ground-and-pound attack, Shirkey said it tired out Summit’s two-way players to the point where staying on blocks on the offensive end became more and more difficult.
“When we go both ways, usually we have a lot of energy on one side and then we get tired at times,” the coach said. “We miss assignments. We miss tackles. We are just a step slow.”
Summit’s long scoring drive of the day came in the waning moments after Elizabeth claimed a 31-0 lead. With 2:36 remaining in the game, Summit senior quarterback Brendan Collins found senior wide receiver Angel Arredondo on a vertical route down the right sideline, directly in front of the Tigers student section, for a 19-yard touchdown grab. The play capped a solid second half receiving for Arredondo (38 yards on four catches) and put the exclamation point on an efficient drive for Summit during which versatile sophomore player Cameron Kalaf shone.
“It was a big play for Angel,” Shirkey said, “and I thought Cam Kalaf played well on that series and he’s been banged up. We didn’t know what we were going to get from him tonight, and he came out and played through it on that series and did some good stuff for us. And, of course, Brendan leading that thing and making some good throws. It’s exciting, stuff we can build on, but obviously we’ve got a lot of work to do.”
In the lead up to their next contest on the road at Battle Mountain on Oct. 5 (7 p.m.), Shirkey said the team will get back to honing the fundamentals before the 5-game 3A Western Slope League stretch to conclude the season.
Summit will next play at home on Friday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. versus Eagle Valley.
The Summit High School varsity boys soccer team capped a high-scoring week with one draw and one loss on Thursday and Saturday, respectively.
Despite dropping the scoring aggregate over the two games 6 goals to 5, the Tigers did so against solid competition in 4A Western Slope League rival Steamboat Springs and Colorado Springs Christian Academy.
On Thursday evening, the Tigers drew Steamboat Springs 3-3. The Sailors entered the contest with an impressive 5-1-0 record, including 4-1 in the league.
Continuing his scintillating season, Summit senior midfielder Evan Wolfson scored twice against the Sailors. Summit also received offensive contributions from seniors Ismaal Valenzuela and Farid Infante (one assist apiece) and senior Angel Rios, who added-on the team’s third goal. In net, senior goalkeeper Michael Sandoval saved seven of 10 shots on frame.
Though the draw against Steamboat was a respectable result, the Tigers did so after taking a 3-1 lead into halftime. The Sailors clawed back into the contest to tie it up with two second half scores. Then on Saturday morning, the Tigers and Colorado Springs Christian entered the half even at 1-1 before the Lions scored two second half goals to the Tigers’ one for the 3-2 win.
Summit, now sporting a 2-3-1 record and 1-1-1 in league action, will next play on Tuesday at Eagle Valley in Gypsum.
At the Loveland Sweetheart Invitational down in Loveland on Friday, the Summit Tigers varsity boys and girls cross country teams placed ninth and 12th respectively.
The Tigers boys earned the top-10 finish among the 23 schools that raced, as Summit was led by a 19th-place showing by junior Max Bonenberger (17:37). Bonenberger was one of four Summit boys runners who finished in the top-75 of the 180-plus-competitor race on Friday, joined by Sam Burke (34th, 17:58), Chris Rohlf (55th, 18:19) and Sam Wescott (74th, 18:33).
More than 150 competitors across 17 schools ran in the girls varsity race. Summit’s top time was achieved by Grace Staberg, who jetted to sixth-place overall with a time of 20:32. Two other Summit runners finished in the top-60 for the girls race: senior captain Morrison Donovan (41st, 21:59), and Alice Wescott (22:47).
The Tigers will next compete at the SWL Championship meet at the Lincoln Park Golf Course in Grand Junction on Friday at 5 p.m.
The Summit High School girls volleyball team split its two matches this week to improve its record to 2-3 on the season.
At home on Tuesday, the Tigers mounted a comeback down two sets to one versus West Grand to pull off a 5-set victory. After winning the first set 25-15, Summit lost the second and third sets to the Mustangs by a combined tally of 50-24. Staring down a second consecutive loss on the young season, the Tigers roared back to take the fourth set 25-16 before a 15-12 win in the fateful fifth set secured the match.
On Saturday on the road at Palisade, Summit dropped a close first set to the Bulldogs 25-22 before Palisade pulled away with the match via 25-10 and 25-16 wins in the second and third sets.
The Tigers will next play at Glenwood on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. before returning home for a match versus Steamboat Springs on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
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