Craig Middle School football teams trounce Steamboat Springs
Final home matches have 22-0, 54-20 Bulldog wins
It will be some time before the members of the Craig Middle School football teams play another game at the Bulldog Proving Grounds, but they made their mark on the field earlier than they expected.
The seventh- and eighth-grade teams both defeated the Steamboat Springs Sailors in their latest games, but in a different location. The CMS squads took to the field at Moffat County High School for the final home games of the season.
“It lets them get some of the lights, the announcer, the fans, all the stuff they’ll see in high school,” seventh-grade Coach Marco Cuevas said. “They love it.”
The seventh-graders had little trouble scoring against Steamboat, with Kevin Hernandez running in three separate touchdowns. The Sailors made a move to score in the fourth quarter, getting dangerously close to the goal line, but the CMS defense was able to shut them down to preserve the shutout.
The team is 4-3 heading into a Saturday game with Rifle, which will end the year. A home game with Meeker was planned for Oct. 11 but was canceled.
“Our motto for this season is ‘finish strong,’” seventh-grader Riley Nelson said.
While football was the focus, the whole of middle school athletes got some recognition Tuesday night, including the volleyball, cross-country and cheer teams.
The eighth-graders later took the field, marking their first time playing at home this season, oddly enough not on their home field.
“They’ve been road warriors this year,” coach Norm Yoast said about the team, whose 3-2 record includes losses only in New Castle and Rawlins, Wyoming.
The seventh-graders may have set the bar high holding Steamboat scoreless, but the older players had a larger point deficit in a game that the Bulldogs won, 54-20, with intermittent rain barely noticeable for CMS.
Carter Severson started the scoring run with a touchdown, while Connor Murphy scored two near the end of both halves, but one member of the team could not be stopped Tuesday night.
Where seventh-grader Hernandez had three TDs, eighth-grader Victor upped the ante with four of his own, as well as multiple successful two-point attempts, his largest score coming from a 60-yard rush.
“I feel like Marshawn Lynch,” Silva said energetically after the third of his TDs.
The comparison to the Seattle Seahawks star was partly due to the MCHS venue, which Silva and teammate Angel Rodriguez said felt pretty special.
“It’s like being in the NFL,” Rodriguez said.
Some elements were a little too much like the pros. The game ran unusually long because of a string of injuries, many of which were Steamboat players.
However, the most severe came when eighth-grader Bryson Davis was thought to have hurt his neck and had to be tended to by MCHS trainer Trenci Towner and Marshall Kraker, of The Memorial Hospital.
Davis was ultimately taken to TMH for further examination.
“These kids have been hitting pretty hard tonight,” Yoast said, adding that the number of injuries was unusually high for a middle school match.
The cheer “For Bryson!” could be heard as the Bulldogs finished their game.
Yoast commended his players on a job well done.
“These boys played outstanding, they did everything really well,” he said. “They had everything clicking well. This is where everything came together.”
Yoast expects another good game in Rifle this weekend, though it will be hard to outdo a victory on the high school field.
“This is something they’ll remember the rest of their lives,” he said.