Cedaredge High School opened a new era in football with its exciting 34-26 victory over the visiting 3A Steamboat Springs Sailors last Friday night. The Bruins unveiled their newest offensive look against the Sailors and overcame a pair of deficits in recording the season's first victory in Cedaredge's season opener.
Cedaredge coach Brandon Milholland noted the new-look offense was one he played in during his college days. The triple option attack was well-suited to senior Jared Reynolds' style, which he demonstrated just how good the fit was, with (unofficially) 119 yards rushing on 25 carries and four touchdowns and a two-point conversion in the Bruins' win. Reynolds was one of six in the passing department for nine yards giving Cedaredge 292 yards of total offense in the game.
Steamboat Springs took a 6-0 lead after a one-yard run from Austin Ban with 47.4 left in the opening period.
The Bruins got on the board with a 19-yard run from Reynolds with 11:01 left in the second period. Sophomore Brody Wagner's PAT kick gave the Bruins a 7-6 lead.
The Sailors answered quickly on a 50-yard pass from Effinger to Tanner Raper. Another missed extra point gave Steamboat a lead of 12-7.
Dusty Emig put Cedaredge back in the lead on an eight-yard burst capping a 65-yard drive. Reynolds ran for two points giving the Bruins a 15-12 lead with 2:52 left in the second quarter.
Excited Cedaredge fans and players were quieted on the ensuing kickoff when Steamboat's Lowen Epstein scooted down the right sideline for 90 yards and a quick six points putting the Sailors right back in the lead, 18-15 with 2:36 left in the first half.
A stalled drive to begin the third quarter forced Cedaredge to punt the ball away.
Steamboat got a go-ahead touchdown on a seven-yard run by Jonathon Kaminski. Kaminski also scored the two-point conversion putting the Sailors ahead, 26-15 with 7:24 left in the third quarter.
Reynolds scored his second touchdown on a four-yard run with 4:03 left in the third quarter leaving the Bruins trailing 26-21.
Cedaredge got two fourth-quarter scores from Reynolds on an 11-yard scamper and a two-yard plunge to produce the 34-26 winning margin.
Cedaredge's defense made key plays throughout the contest to thwart the Sailors offense on several occasions. An Effinger fumble was recovered by Emig at the Bruins' 19 with Reynolds scoring on the next play for one of his four scores; senior Taj VanderLinde sacked Effinger to end the first half and VanderLinde recovered a fumble at the Bruins' 37 to stop another potential drive.
Steamboat's offense generated minus nine yards rushing for the game while the passing game produced 153 yards on seven completions.
After the game, Reynolds was asked if he was worked a little bit and if the new offense was suited for him. "Yeah, it was a lot of fun ... this is the way the offense works. It's a grind. The triple option is our main focus with plays underneath that open the outside for us. We get what we can and embrace the grind."
Coach Milholland was equally pleased with the game's results. The question of which he was most pleased with, the offense or defense had this response. "If you had told me we would score 34 points in this style offense, I'd have said no way. To come back twice like we did is hard to do in this offense. Hats off to the kids; they believe in each other. Jared did a great job. He read the triple option better than I did when I played in college in the same system."
Cedaredge travels to Buena Vista on Friday, Sept. 7, to face the 1A Demons, who are part of the Tri-Peaks League.