Rawlins hopes to follow in M.C. footsteps

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Kevin Hanson has been a part of the Rawlins High School football program off and on for nearly a quarter of a century. The last time the Outlaws defeated Moffat County he was at the beginning of his tenure.

Despite the dominance by the larger school from Colorado, Hanson likes to see Moffat on the schedule.

"It's been quite a while (since we've won), but I'm glad we play Moffat," said Hanson, who started his second go as head coach this year. "They are a tough team to prepare for, and they are a good early test."

The previous three years the Bulldogs have outscored the Outlaws 146-13.

Part of the dominance could be attributed to the difference in school sizes. Although Rawlins plays in Wyoming's Class 4A, they would be in Class 2A in Colorado. With 450 students, the Outlaws have 300 fewer students at their high school.

"Moffat is one of the better programs in Colorado," Hanson said. "We strive to build a program similar to theirs."

Because both teams are opening their seasons today, the coaches told each other what to expect.

"Rawlins runs an I-formation on offense and a six-man front on defense," Moffat coach Kip Hafey said. "They are poised to stop the run and make teams pass."

The Outlaws are an experienced team, with most of the starters juniors and seniors who started as underclassmen.

Hanson's three captains, seniors David Fleet (quarterback and linebacker) Carlos Ochoa (lineman) and Sam Baldwin (running back and linebacker), have worked hard to improve on the Outlaw's one-win season last year.

"They have a great work ethic and have been role models for our younger kids," Hanson said. "They are a start for the what I'm trying to build here."

The Bulldogs didn't spend as much time this week preparing for Rawlins as they might for a game later in the season.

"We are working on our own things," Hafey said. "We have a need to work on timing on offense."

At this time last week, the Bulldogs were preparing to be without senior tailback Daniel Cramblett because of an ankle injury. Cramblett though, returned to practice Tuesday.

"I'm not sure how much I'll play," he said. "But I'll be available."

Other than that, the Bulldogs are healthy going into their opener.

"It's important for our d-lineman to take on block and allow for our linebackers to make plays," Hafey said. "To be successful we'll have to make plays up front."

Hanson said his team was eager to hit someone other than a teammate.

"We've been hitting ourselves enough," Hanson said. "They're ready to get started."

The kickoff is at 7 p.m. tonight in Rawlins.

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