Cody Palmer never fumbles.
As least that is what the Moffat County High School senior running back and wide receiver screamed as he came off the sideline after fumbling in the first half of the Bulldogs' game against Glenwood Springs.
Then he did it again during the team's next possession.
Another fumble during a hand off between senior quarterback Aaron Sanchez and junior running back Kellan Moore made for three lost fumbles and a frustrating first half for the blue and white, yet the Bulldogs went into the locker room with a 7-0 lead.
"At halftime we talked about how we had to get it done on offense," Moore said. "The defense did their job the first half so we needed to do ours the second half by holding onto the ball."
The job the defense did included four sacks of Glenwood quarterback Ben Toler for a loss of 43 yards. The Demons compiled a total of 47 yards in the half making their net gain four yards.
"Our defense played almost a nearly perfect first half," Moffat County coach Kip Hafey said. "You can't ask much more than giving up a total of four yards."
The dominance in the second half continued for the Bulldog defense and the offense held onto the ball and scored three times for a 28-7 victory.
"Moffat was everything we expected," said Glenwood coach Craig Denney. "Coaches had talked about them being one of the favorites in the league and they showed that tonight with a good all-around game."
When the night was over the offense tallied 22 first downs and for the second straight week had more than 500 yards with a total of 525 (376 on the ground, 149 in the air). The defense allowed a total of five first downs, three of which were from penalties, and allowed the Demons 70 yards of total offense.
The first drive on offense for Moffat County didn't look as if it would dominate like it had expected coming into the game. The first three plays resulted in a one-yard gain and the Bulldogs were slated to punt from their five-yard line but then Sanchez saw that the Demons were bringing everything but the kitchen sink after the punt so he called for a fake and connected with a tight end for 52 yards. By then the offense had figured out why it wasn't moving the ball.
"The first series their defensive line was chopping at our linemen and they didn't expect it," Hafey said. "The linemen figured out how to shuck them off and we started to move the ball."
Sanchez scored first for the Bulldogs with a 52-yard run, breaking six tackles on the way. The quarterback/running back finished the night with three touchdowns on the ground, 148 yards on 14 carries and 138 yards in the air.
Three of Sanchez's four completions went to Palmer, who made up for dropping the ball in the first half with two catches for 73 yards. He also carried the ball 10 times for 79 yards. Moore added 12 carries for 51 yards and a touchdown and fullback Scott Garoutte carried eight times for 57 yards, most of which he had at least one Demon dragging off of some body part.
"We continue to develop more weapons on offense," Hafey said. "They had double coverage on Palmer most the night so Tyler Pike steps up with two big catches. Teams can't key on an individual for us."
The defense forced four turnovers in the game including three interceptions in the second half when the Demons opened up to their passing game. Sophomore Derek Duran had two picks and Sanchez grabbed the other. The tackles were spread out for the Bulldogs with Michael leading the team with seven.
"On both sides of the ball their size, strength and speed was too much for us," Denney said. "Those coaches are starting to get kids to live in the weight room and it looks like some of them are coming out of a mold."
Theh win gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 record in the league.
"I'm happy with the entire game especially for a conference opener," Hafey said. "We have a lot of room for improvement but we came in and executed how we wanted tonight."
The Bulldogs' next test is a road game against non-conference Bayfield at 1 p.m. Saturday in Delta.
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org