Football: Steamboat kicks past Aspen 7-6
The Aspen Times
The early season winning streak for the Aspen Skiers is over.
Steamboat Springs stopped the Aspen High School football team’s winning start with a hard-fought 7-6 victory over the Skiers on Friday night at Aspen School District Stadium.
Steamboat captain Joe Deline rushed for 137 yards on 21 carries for the Sailors. He scored their only touchdown on a 1-yard run late in the second quarter — a TD that tied the game 6-6.
Then Deline, the son of former college and NFL kicker Steve Deline, drilled the extra point kick through the uprights for a 7-6 Steamboat lead.
He added key first-down runs of 22 and 24 yards in the fourth quarter as the Sailors ran out the clock to win their first game of the season.
The Skiers, who lost for the first time after two consecutive victories, struck early and seized the momentum from the opening kickoff.
The Aspen kickoff coverage team stripped the football free on the first return of the game, and Jake Ferlisi recovered the fumble for the Skiers.
They took possession at the Steamboat Springs 28-yard line.
Five plays and 28 yards later, the Skiers scored on a 5-yard TD run by tailback Rennie Tucker-Meuse. Starting in place in injured Nik Morgan, Tucker-Meuse followed the Aspen blockers to the tune of 63 yards on 15 workmanlike carries in the opening half.
Slowed by a leg injury, he had only two carries in the second half.
But he was forced into emergency quarterback duty when Aspen starter RJ Peshek went out briefly in the third quarter.
Peshek returned to the game.
Nick Hanle took over at tailback for the Skiers, carrying the ball 11 times in the second half and picking up 42 yards.
The Skiers went for a two-point conversion after Tucker-Meuse scored with 9:48 to play in the opening quarter.
The run attempt failed, and Aspen led 6-0.
The Aspen offense put together an extended 15-play drive on its next possession. But the Skiers were stopped on downs at the Steamboat 15.
Steamboat’s touchdown came after the Skiers went for a fourth-and-17 at their own 23-yard line. The 10-yard gain turned the ball over to the Sailors, who drove 33 yards in five plays with Deline score on a 1-yard run up the middle.
He set up the TD with a 21-yard scamper off the right side.
His booming PAT put what turned out to be the final point on the scoreboard Friday night.
Aspen drove to the Steamboat 39 on the first possession of the second half before turning the ball over on downs again.
And the Skiers marched to the Steamboat 37 before missing on a fourth-and-6 pass attempt.
The Aspen High School football team, which opened with wins over Cortez and Grand Valley, will play at Cedaredge in another nonleague game next Friday night.
Steamboat Springs, after a 27-0 loss at Moffat County last week, will return home 1-1, set to host Battle Mountain next Friday.
David Stapleton is the development officer for the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club. A product of the club, AVSC sat down with Stapleton for a Q&A session in this week’s Clubhouse Chronicles.