If momentum and confidence had physical properties, there wouldn't be too many scales that could hold the weight of the Moffat County High School and Glenwood football teams going into tonight's game.
"Both team's are going in totally expecting to win," Moffat County coach Kip Hafey said. "Glenwood has played the first-, second-, and third-ranked teams in the state the past three weeks, and they've held their own."
The paths that meet in Glenwood have been quite different for the teams.
The Demons (3-2) have had four of their five games decided in the fourth quarter. Their two losses were by a total of four points. Palisade, the No. 1 ranked team in Class 3A, scored on Jason Popick's 80-yard run with 3 minutes, 28 seconds left in the game to defeat the Demons, 14-13. Roaring Fork, the No. 2 team in Class 2A, had a 92-yard kickoff return for a fourth-quarter touchdown and won, 6-3.
The two close losses could have been heartbreakers for the Demons, but all those bad memories were erased when kicker Joe Schreiner sent a ball through the uprights with 23 seconds left in last week's game to beat Rifle, 15-14.
The Demons' first-year head coach Rocky Whitworth has his kids believing in the value of a team effort.
"To me it's a matter of getting kids to play for each other and focus on the performance of the team, not individual," he said. "In a way, it tends to relieve pressure when you're playing for a teammate, rather than for the glory."
Whitworth's defensive squad is especially tough as a group. It has carried the Demons to a No. 10 ranking by the Rocky Mountain News. The unique 3-5-3 setup has held teams to 11 points a game.
"They are an aggressive defense, sending people from a lot of different places," Hafey said. "Our offensive line is the key."
The Bulldogs (5-0) have only had one game that wasn't already decided in their favor at halftime.
The Moffat County offense has had little trouble picking up yards this season. It ranks in the top 10 in Class 3A in rushing and passing. The Bulldogs with the ball have averaged 50 points a game this year.
"We're excited to play a good defense," said Hafey, the offensive coordinator. "We'll pass 40 times if we need to and run 50 times if we need to."
The Demons also have displayed versatility on offense.
They threw 21 times and rushed 62 times against Rifle.
"We need to pressure the quarterback," Hafey said. "We've been working on coverage in the secondary this week."
The picture in the Western Slope League doesn't appear as though it will get any clearer after this weekend. Palisade (vs. Rifle last night), Montezuma Cortez (vs. Delta tonight) and Moffat County would all remain undefeated. Then again, there could be four teams with one loss if both MCHS teams lose and Rifle bounces back to beat Palisade.