By ELWOOD K. SHELTON
Daily Press writer
Costly mistakes and bad timing turned a potential Homecoming upset into a disappointing loss for the Moffat County football team.
Had senior Mike Charchalis come down in the end zone with the ball for an interception, instead of Cory Beck of Steamboat Springs Sailors for a touch down the game could have been different.
Had the Bulldogs' defense been able to contain running back Joey Marias, and keep him under 200-yards rushing the game could have been different.
Had the Bulldogs offense been able to capitalize on two trips into their red zone the game could have been different.
But in the end, it was a familiar conclusion for Moffat County the Bulldogs lost their Homecoming game to Steamboat Springs 29-8, and still remain with only one conference win on the season.
"On offense we kept shooting ourselves in the foot with mistakes," coach John Haddan said. "And our defense couldn't contend with No. 34 (Marias) speed, and their offensive line size."
The Bulldogs (2-5) sustained their third conference loss of the season Friday night at the hands of the No. 5 ranked Sailors (6-0).
The Sailors pushed their way into the end zone four times Friday, with Marias' Midas touch involved with every touchdown. While the Bulldogs had three interceptions, one fumble and two trips into the red zone stopped to play the foil of the competitor.
The Sailors started the night's scoring, but narrowly so.
In their own red zone, the Sailors set up a halfback pass with Marias taking the passing duties. He passed the ball 11 yards into the end zone, where Sailors' wide receiver Cory Beck and Bulldogs' safety Mike Charchalis both made a play for it but Beck came down with the ball.
After the Sailors red zone trickery, the Bulldogs marched down field, and set up to score the only points they'd get the entire night.
From half-yard line, Charchalis ran to score six, followed by another run for the two-point conversion.
The Bulldogs had a chance to go into halftime leading, but the Sailors used the next four minutes to drive the ball down field, setting up a Marias touchdown on an 11-yard rush. Quarterback Tanner Barr answered with a two-point conversion.
The Bulldogs attempted to answer the on-fire Sailors and retake the lead before halftime, but their hopes were crushed when an end zone pass to senior John Counts was deflected. A tipped ball by the Sailors' defensive end on fourth down sent Steamboat into halftime leading by eight.
The Moffat County offense was stymied the entire second half, but the Sailors' offense was alive and well, and set to go into the end zone two more times.
"We just came out flat in the second half, and they came out intense," Charchalis said. "We had plenty of chances to score in the second half, but we made mistakes and turned over the ball, which killed us."
The first time the Sailors scored in the second half came off a two-yard Marias run, set up by a 41-yard pass.
The Sailors finally put the game away in the fourth quarter when, in the last three minutes, Marias rumbled for an 8-yard touchdown.
The Bulldogs will take on the Glenwood Springs Demons Friday, a team which is winless in conference, but who gave top-ranked Rifle a run for their money on Saturday.
"We're out of the ranked teams of our conference now, but that doesn't mean our games will get any easier," Haddan said. "Really, about every team in our conference has the potential to be a tough game."