Bulldogs to travel sans coach

It's a boy.

Moffat County football coach Kip Hafey's wife, Jill, had the couple's fourth child Wednesday. Because of the new arrival, Hafey wasn't with his football team Thursday. That means Lance Scranton is the head coach for the team's final game of the year today.

"I hope that the seniors want to make some memories for their last game," Scranton said. "(Montezuma Cortez) almost beat Steamboat so it's a team to take seriously."

The Panthers put the ball and their chances to win in junior quarterback Darren Waymen. He has attempted at least 20 passes in every game this season.

"By our numbers we think he's the third-leading passer in the state," Panther coach Tom Adair said. "But we run the ball out of it well too."

Scranton has prepared his defense for a run-and-gun offense.

"They play from the shotgun and throw to set up the run," Scranton said. "We've changed some coverage on defense to prepare."

The Bulldogs have struggled all season to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

"It's important to pressure him," Scranton said. "We spent time on the pass rush this week as well."

Both teams had their chances to make the post season stopped by losses to Rifle. The Bulldogs lost two weeks ago, 12-7, and the Panthers lost last week, 41-21.

All three touchdowns Cortez scored against the Bears were through the air.

"Our offense has performed well all year," Adair said. "We keep shooting ourselves in the foot. It's been turnovers and our defense that has hurt us."

Moffat hopes to match the Panthers' passing game.

"We're going to throw the ball," Scranton said. "We'll try to establish our fullback, but we'll air it out quite a bit."

Adair's team is aware of Moffat County senior quarterback Derek Duran.

"We have to contain their quarterback," he said. "They have some size this year that we'll have to deal with."

The winner of the game will finish fifth in the Western Slope League.

"We have 15 seniors who want to go out with a win," Adair said.

Despite the long trip to Cortez, Scranton hoped his team would play well.

"In the past, it's been a good trip," he said. "Our seniors have had a good four years, and although this year didn't go as well as they wanted, it's part of life."

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