By ELWOOD K. SHELTON
Daily Press writer
When out to prove a point there's no better time to do it than against a rival, especially when the rival is ranked fifth in the state.
The Steamboat Springs Sailors (5-0) are the only undefeated team in the Western Slope Conference (WSC), and they sit in the No. 5 spot in Class 3A football, according to the Denver Rocky Mountain News rankings.
The Sailors will sweep into Craig Friday for the Moffat County Bulldogs' Homecoming game, and to senior defensive end Ryan Linscaum there's no better time, and no better team to prove a point against.
"In Moffat County you're raised to be rivals with Steamboat, so just that makes it a big game," he said. "But, with the way our season has been going I think we can really prove a point against them. We can prove that while we've had some off games, we can still handle a good team."
During the most traditional of football weeks Homecoming, the Moffat County Bulldogs will pad up to play their season's biggest rivals, the Sailors.
The Bulldogs (2-4) are still searching for their second conference win this season. Battle Mountain is the only team Moffat County has scored a win against, although, they have come close in other match-ups.
Last Saturday, the Bulldogs gave up a six point loss to the No. 6 ranked Palisade Bulldogs (5-1). The game, which the Bulldogs led most of the first half in, was won by two special teams plays; a punt return in the second quarter to send the game into halftime tied, and a return on the opening kickoff of the second-half to break the Bulldogs' spirit.
"It was just one of those games where a couple of plays beat you," coach John Haddan said.
Friday against the Sailors, special teams will be the least of the team's worries, when they face the one-two punch of the Sailors backfield.
The one-two is provided by the quarterback, running back combination of Tanner Barr and Joe Marias. The two have combined for 940 yards on the ground this season, and are the two key players in the Steamboat Springs' attack the option.
The Sailors use an offensive formation similar to Moffat County, with running backs split at the wings, and running plenty of backfield motion.
The Sailors will avoid the air, if at all possible, having only passed for 252 yards on the year, which pales to the 1,590 yards they've put up in total rushing. If the Sailors do go to the air it's usually to tight end Gasper Perricone, who has caught five passes on the year.
Perricone will most likely be the big concern when Moffat County has the ball. With 41 tackles on the year, Perricone is the leading tackler for the Sailors from the linebacker position.
The Bulldogs will stick to business as usual, and won't stray far from the double wing, and robust formations.
The one thing which has changed is who will lead the Bulldogs' ground attack.
With senior fullback Chris Field out for the season with a knee injury, senior quarterback Mike Charchalis will take on top rushing duties for the second week.
Field is not the only missing Bulldog this week, or season.
The Bulldogs will be missing seniors Riley Brookshire, Parker Moore and Joe Jacobs on Friday. Seniors Trevor Slone, and Drew Morris both have a chance of sitting out Homecoming, but both will be a game day-decision.
"As a team, we've kind of gotten over some of the people we're missing," Charchalis said. "We're missing some key players, but the guys we've got filling in have been doing a great job. Right now we're going into the game we've been waiting all year for, and no matter who's playing, we're all hungry for a win."