Ground game, defense carry Palisade to easy victory

Since falling at Battle Mountain two weeks ago, it’s been full steam ahead for the Palisade High School football team.

The Bulldogs routed Steamboat Springs 58-7 in a Western Slope Conference game on Friday in Steamboat, rushing for 319 yards and limiting the Sailors to only 103 yards of total offense.

Luke McLean carried the ball only four times for six yards, instead letting his offensive line and running backs do the work.

Caden Woods rushed for 67 yards on four carries and had a 70-yard kick return in Palisade’s 23-point second quarter.

After McLean scored a pair of 1-yard touchdowns and JT Townsend caught a 8-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, Palisade (7-1, 4-1 WSC) broke the game wide open in the second quarter.

Stephen DeMerritt intercepted a pass and returned it 31 yards for a touchdown early in the quarter, then Lane Orman got his only carry of the game. It ended 61 yards later in the end zone.

On Steamboat’s next possession, the Bulldogs recorded a safety, and Woods returned the ensuing kick 70 yards for a 44-0 lead.

Steamboat quarterback Christian Ramirez found Michael Yost for an 18-yard touchdown at the end of the first half, the Sailors’ only score.

Townsend scored a 5-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter and Austin Terry added a 1-yard scoring run in the fourth.

McLean completed four of five passes for 62 yards and one touchdown, and the Bulldogs didn’t have to punt the entire game.

Battle Mountain kept pace with the Bulldogs in the WSC with a 41-27 victory over Delta and Glenwood Springs defeated Eagle Valley 28-7.

Coal Ridge upset Aspen 21-14 in the 2A Western Slope Conference, Olathe defeated Grand Valley 19-15, Cedaredge ended a losing skid with a 41-31 victory over Roaring Fork and Basalt defeated Gunnison 27-7.

Hayden bounced back from a loss to Hotchkiss last week with a 39-27 victory over Meeker.


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