Friday night’s return game between Steamboat Springs High School and Aspen was as close as it gets, and the win was more rewarding than ever.
A 34-yard field goal from Charlie Reisman in the dying minutes made the difference, and runner-up Beck Vanderbosch lost hope for Aspen, intercepting a pitch with 1:09 remaining, sealing a 20-17 victory for Steamboat.
“We all played really well,” said senior captain Ben Bogan. âWe haven’t won (a second leg) since 2009, and we were all set to win. No one stopped, which I was happy about.
Aspen scored first, then Steamboat responded to lead early in the second half. Then the errors piled up for the sailors, and the skiers again tied the score at 17.
With a quarter to play, the teams were tied.
The game slowed down as the defense raged. The teams fought through four consecutive draws. The pitches became muddled and the clock slipped under 10 minutes, hinting that the next score could secure the win.
âOur conditioning is what made us win this game,â said Bogan. âThey were tired and we were hammering their throats. “
Bogan played a crucial role in resisting the skiers in the fourth quarter, registering two sacks in the same workout. His effort gave the ball to the sailors, and they ran with it.
Second-year running back Brady Grove and senior quarterback Jake Hamric moved like they were falling downhill. The offense was halted at the 20-yard line, bringing in Reisman, who did the 34-yard kick with his “golden leg,” as Vanderbosch put it.
â(My leg) started shaking as soon as we got the ball,â Reisman said. “I was like, ‘I have a feeling I’m going to kick right now. “All of a sudden, here we are, but I had confidence and I succeeded.”
– Shelby Reardon (@ByShelbyReardon) September 25, 2021
The only thing more common than second half punters were penalties.
The game was sloppy, although fans would argue it wasn’t as sloppy as the refs suggested. Steamboat Springs drew a flag on what looked like any other room. He injured the sailors but not fatally.
Grove’s rushed second touchdown gave Steamboat a 17-7 lead early in the third. The kickoff supported the skiers all the way to the 10-yard line.
Aided by appeals against the Sailors, Aspen accelerated the pitch in two minutes. Steamboat held on, however, stopping three consecutive touchdown attempts inside the 15-meter line. Forcing the fourth down, Aspen chose to hit a basket. The mark brought the score to 17-10. The stop was crucial to keep the Sailor on top.
When the sailors recovered the ball, they spent more time backing up than moving forward, causing a punt.
Steamboat’s wound was getting bigger and Aspen was ready to prick it. Three plays later, Aspen was on the 25-yard line threatening to tie the game. Lee took it upon himself to dig the line, dodge the tackles and score. The kick was good, tying the game off at 17.
Of course, no matter how many appeals against them, the sailors kept going, held their heads up high and were victorious.
âWe had a lot of penalties on us; they had a lot of penalties on them, âVanderbosch said. “It’s like our coach, Coach Cobb says, ‘Adversity is what builds a man.'”
Steamboat Springs 20, Aspen 17
A 7 0 10 0 – 17
SS 7 3 7 3 – 20
A – Shae Korpela 25 pass from Porter Lee, good kick, 6:29
SS – Brady Grove 25 run, Charlie Reisman kicks hard, 3:26
SS – Reisman 28 field goal, 0:00
SS – Grove 5 rush, Reisman good kick – 8:53
A – 20 baskets, 6:50
A – Lee 16 rush, good kick, 2:35
SS – Reisman 34 Field Goal, 2:54
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.