Aspen football falls 20-17 at Steamboat on late field goal in non-league finale
Undefeated, No. 4-ranked Basalt had a bye this week
A late field goal pushed the Steamboat Springs High School football team over visiting Aspen on Friday night at Gardner Field, with the Sailors holding on for a 20-17 win on homecoming.
A 35-yard field goal by SSHS sophomore Charlie Reisman with less than three minutes to play proved to be the difference. With the ball and a chance to rally, the game effectively ended with an Aspen interception and a few Steamboat kneel downs.
The contest was plagued by penalties and turnovers. The action started with a long fourth-down touchdown pass midway through the first quarter that gave Aspen a 7-0 lead. The Sailors tied the game at 7-all only a few minutes later on a 29-yard Brady Grove touchdown run.
The first quarter ended in a 7-7 tie after Aspen’s kickoff return for a touchdown was called back because of a penalty. The Sailors connected on a field goal as time expired in the quarter to take a 10-7 lead into the halftime break.
Steamboat opened the third quarter with another Grove touchdown run for a 17-7 lead and looked like it had a chance to pull away, but the Skiers answered. A 27-yard field goal by Aspen made it 17-10 midway through the third quarter, and AHS quarterback Porter Lee tied the game on a run before the quarter was out for a 17-all tie entering the fourth.
Aspen’s offense sputtered in the final quarter, getting stopped on a key fourth-down try. After an AHS interception was called back because of a roughing the passer penalty, Steamboat was able to move the ball into field goal range where Reisman was able to connect with 2:54 to play.
Photos: Aspen football at Steamboat Springs
Beck Vanderbosch’s interception not long after sealed the deal.
Steamboat, which plays a classification higher than Aspen in 3A, improved to 4-1 overall, its only loss a 50-0 rout to Moffat County in Game 2. The Sailors next have a bye and then open league play Oct. 8 against Eagle Valley in Gypsum. Steamboat will host Glenwood Springs the following week.
Aspen fell to 1-3 overall. After beating Colorado Springs Christian in the opener, the Skiers have lost three straight to Summit, Battle Mountain and now Steamboat to close out non-league play. AHS will jump into 2A Western Slope League competition next week when it hosts defending 3A spring state champion Rifle on the AHS turf. The No. 9-ranked Bears (2-2) were off this week.
Undefeated and No. 4-ranked Basalt (4-0) also had a bye this week. The Longhorns open WSL play next week against No. 7 Moffat County (4-0) in Basalt. The Bulldogs rolled over Kennedy on Friday, winning 51-15.
As a team, Aspen finished third overall in its lone home tournament of the fall. The Skiers shot a collective 239, finishing 12 back of fellow 3A powerhouse Colorado Academy (227). Steamboat Springs, out of 4A, shot 225 to take the win.
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