Basalt football easily handles Steamboat Springs in league opener, wins 48-0

Joel Reichenberger
Steamboat Today
Basalt's Noah Williams, left, gets a block from Colin Hipona on Saturday at Steamboat Springs. The Longhorns beat the Sailors, 48-0.
Joel Reichenberger/Steamboat Today |

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Basalt High School football team, ranked No. 10 in Class 2A, is aiming to land a solid playoff seed and win the Western Slope League for the second consecutive season.

The Steamboat Springs High School football team, 0-4 heading into Saturday’s game, is aiming to win once or twice this season.

The Sailors own ambitions didn’t make for much of a speed bump on Saturday as Basalt took another step in its own plan. The Longhorns racked up a big lead early, took advantage of turnovers throughout and went on to win in Steamboat Springs, 48-0.

“We just have to stay together and rally back as a team,” Steamboat coach Shawn Baumgartner said. “At this point in the season, that’s one where you can either start to fall apart or you can pull back together and unite as a team.”

Baumgartner said it’s about keeping his team engaged. Trailing 41-0 at halftime, he encouraged his athletes to play with pride as they took the field in the second half. Indeed, the chance to win or be competitive had already come and gone in the first moments of the game itself.

“All the kids on the travel team played and played hard,” Basalt coach Carl Frerichs said. “So it was fun getting all the kids to get in there and play hard.”

The Sailors had six turnovers on the day and three came in the first 10 minutes of the first quarter. The first, an opening drive interception, set up Basalt’s first touchdown. Longhorn running back Noah Williams dove in with that one, one of four he’d score on the day.

Colin Hipona ran in for the second touchdown, and Goskany Luquin scored for Basalt on defense to make it 20-0. That touchdown came on the second turnover, one of three Steamboat snaps that went over the quarterback’s head in the first quarter. Steamboat won a race to two of the three loose balls, but Luquin fell on the other in the endzone.

Williams scored again on Basalt’s next possession on the fourth play of the drive, rushing in from 25 yards out. Steamboat then fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Williams scored yet again, this time on the first play, rumbling 21 yards to make it 34-0 with 2 minutes, 38 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

The running clock — which starts with a lead of 40 points — became official early in the second quarter when Hipona scored again, this time with a two-yard run.

“It was disappointing giving up the big plays,” Baumgartner said. “A team like that, they’re going to score their points, but you have to make them earn them.”

The light at the end of the tunnel for Steamboat is the competition doesn’t get more difficult, at least not right away. Next up on the schedule is a trip Friday to play at Roaring Fork, 0-5 this season and on the wrong end of a 61-6 game against Moffat County this week.

Basalt (4-1, 1-0 WSL) will face arguably its most difficult league test on Friday, when it travels to Aspen. The Skiers are 5-0 after winning 34-28 at Coal Ridge this week in their league opener. Friday’s game in Aspen also will be homecoming for AHS.

“It’s a cool thing for our valley to have that rivalry game to be such an important game on the season,” Frerichs said. “We told our kids this will be one of those games you’ll remember, so our kids are super excited. But we better be prepared, because they are playing really, really well. Coach (Karson) Pike and (quarterback R.J. Peshek) are doing some great stuff up there.”

Aspen Times sports editor Austin Colbert contributed to this report.