Sometime during the season, Moffat County High School senior quarterback Aaron Sanchez will showcase his arm but as long as the running game works like it did in the Bulldogs' 49-13 win over Rawlins, he's content with tucking and running.
"As long as we are gaining four yards a carry there's no need to throw," Sanchez said after he gained 165 yards in a dual role as quarterback and tailback. "Our line ate up the defense tonight and there were a lot of holes."
The holes created by the offensive line led to more than 500 years on the ground for Moffat County. There was running room early and often for the Bulldog backs as junior Kellan Moore, junior Scott Garoutte, senior Cody Palmer and Sanchez combined for 240 yards in the first quarter.
Moore scored twice in the first two series for the Bulldogs on runs of 14 and 62 yards. The two touchdown scampers doubled the junior's total to four during his varsity career.
After Moore's runs, the Bulldogs went to a formation that they showcased toward the end of the Fort Morgan game with Sanchez at tailback and sophomore Derek Duran at quarterback. Sanchez carried the load on the drive for 70 yards on four carries and a touchdown. When the first quarter came to an end, the Bulldogs were in control with the 20-0 lead.
"Teams will see both Sanchez and Duran at quarterback the rest of the year," coach Kip Hafey said. "The more we keep teams guessing on who to prepare for, the better we'll be."
Rawlings was made many incorrect guesses throughout the night as the Bulldogs went into the fourth quarter with a 41-0 lead, all scores coming from the ground game.
"When they ran an option, the quarterback had already gained five yards before he reached his line," said Rawlins coach Dan Dinnell. "We faced a very athletic, big team tonight that just handed it to us."
The Outlaws gained a total of 199 yards, most of which came from running back Sammy Martinez against the Bulldog's junior varsity in the fourth quarter. Martinez scored twice in the final period on runs of 61 and 56 yards.
"I was impressed with the classiness of the Moffat County team and their staff," Dinnell said. "They put their young guys in early when they could have just kept pouring it on. Their kids were never cocky about the win. They just came out and did their job."
The job that the Bulldog starters focused on in the second half was getting a 40-point lead.
"We didn't make too many adjustments at halftime," Hafey said. "We told them to look for the other team's adjustments and that we wanted a 40 point lead."
Palmer took his team closer to its goal with a 30-yard touchdown run with 5:59 left on the clock in the third quarter to make the score 33-0.
On the next series senior Nick Goodenow blocked a Rawlins punt and it rolled into the end zone for a Bulldog safety.
Sanchez found the end zone for the third time three minutes later and the Bulldogs had their goal set at halftime with a 41-0 lead.
The first team offense and defense then were rewarded with a chance to watch the underclassmen the rest of the game. But with the chilly temperatures, some of the first team players would have rather stayed on the field.
"It was so cold on the sideline, I would have rather stayed on the field," senior defensive back Kelvin Grinolds said. "That cold wind went through our uniforms."
Sophomore Reid Hanneman kept warm with his first varsity touchdown run in the fourth quarter to make the Bulldogs' final tally 49.
"We were well prepared for this game in each position," Hafey said. "So the credit for that has to go to my staff and the players for coming in focused."
Now the Bulldogs turn their focus to the first Western Slope Conference game of the year at Glenwood Friday. The Demons lost Saturday to Fort Morgan 13-7, a team the Bulldogs defeated 41-12 in their second game of the season.
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Western Slope Conference Standings
Team W-L Win%
PALISADE 4-0 1.000
STEAMBOAT 3-0 1.000
MCHS 2-1 0.667
RIFLE 2-1 0.667
GLENWOOD 1-2 0.333
DELTA 0-3 0.000
CORTEZ 0-3 0.000