The Moffat County High School football team walked away from its season opener with a 27-7 victory over Rawlins Friday night, despite six turnovers and a rough second half.
Coach Kip Hafey said he was happy with the team's performance overall.
"We showed the kind of offense that we have and how dangerous we can be," Hafey said.
The Bulldogs scored the game's first points when senior quarterback Derek Duran hit Andrew Drake for a 10-yard touchdown strike on the game's opening drive. Duran showed his strength on the play, making the pass with an Outlaw defender wrapped around his legs.
"I was pretty pumped," Duran said of the play. "They were crashing hard and I just stepped up in the pocket."
Duran finished the game 18 for 23 passing with 182 yards. He also had three touchdowns and one interception.
Moffat County stuck to their game plan early, with an equal mix of pass and run, but most of the team's offensive success came through the air.
"We had a tough time running the ball at times," Hafey said.
On Rawlins' first possession, the Outlaws gave the Bulldogs two points when Outlaw punter and quarterback David Fleet took the snap standing out of the end zone for a safety.
The Bulldogs stretched their lead to 15-0 with an 85-yard touchdown drive culminating in a 38-yard touchdown pass from Duran to fellow captain Kevin Loughran.
The drive was helped by a 17-yard carry Reid Hanneman and a 20-yard reception by Chance Buckner.
On the touchdown play, Duran rolled right and looked like he might run, but he found Loughran down the field for the score.
Duran said the play gives him a lot of options, but his best bet was Loughran.
"I was looking to run and Loughran came open at the last minute," Duran said.
The Bulldogs came up short on the two-point conversion when Duran missed Daniel Cramblett in the end zone.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Bulldogs tried an onside kick and got the ball back when Korey Kostur jumped on it in front of a confused-looking Outlaw team.
Coach Hafey said the decision to onside kick with a lead early in the game was part of the team's aggressive game plan and showed a willingness to take risks.
"We're going to go after people and we're not going to let up," Hafey said.
After another Duran touchdown pass and another botched snap on the extra point the Bulldogs had a 21-0 lead at halftime.
On the first drive of the second half, the Outlaws looked to be driving toward the end zone, but Brandon Vigil sacked Fleet on a third down play to force Rawlins to punt.
Moffat County made the score 27-0 later in the third quarter when Andrew Drake picked off a Fleet pass and returned it 40 yards for the score, but the Bulldogs again failed to tack on the extra point because of a bad snap.
Duran had one of his only miscues of the game when he threw an interception to Josh Archuleta, who took it to the Bulldog 16, but the Moffat County defense held the Outlaws scoreless.
Rawlins' offense had two good scoring chances in the fourth quarter, but a dropped ball in the end zone and a bad pass from Fleet kept the Outlaws scoreless.
The Bulldog defense was led by Drake, who finished with six tackles and two interceptions.
The Outlaws' only score of the night came on defense in the fourth quarter when the game was already out of reach.
Bulldogs backup quarterback Josh Satterwhite was picked off by Sam Baldwin who took it back for a score, 27-6.
Rawlins tried a fake field goal and came up empty, but a penalty on Moffat County gave them another shot at the extra point.
Tyler Moore did what the Bulldogs had trouble doing all night and split the uprights.
Rawlins outscored Moffat County 7-6 in the second half.
"We've got a lot to work on," Hafey said. We need to be sharper in the second half."
Duran said he was disappointed in the second half performance, but was happy to start the season with a win.
"We got the win and that's all that matters," Duran said.
The Bulldogs play their first home game Friday against Battle Mountain.