Reigning in the rain

Bulldogs pour it on Battle Mountain, 47-0

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The saying is that it poured cats and dogs, but for the Battle Mountain Huskies, it poured dogs and more dogs Friday night.

The Moffat County Bulldogs reigned in the rain against the Huskies on the way to a 47-0 victory in their home opener of the 2005 season.

"It took us a little bit to get going, but we locked it in for the second quarter," Moffat coach Kip Hafey said. "The wind and rain the first quarter caused some mental mistakes for us, but overall I thought the guys stepped it up and played well."

In the first quarter, the Bulldog offense couldn't find a rhythm because of penalties, a failed fake punt and several bad snaps.

The defense made up for the offense's mistakes by stuffing the Huskies for three, three-and-outs in the quarter. A swarm of Bulldogs also blocked Joe Ortega's punt with 2 minutes, 37 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

That turnover gave Moffat the ball on Battle Mountain's 31, and five plays later junior Andrew Drake took a pitchout 13 yards for a touchdown. Sophomore JT "Diesel" Haddan added a two-point conversion, and the Bulldogs went up 8-0 with 21 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Moffat looked as if it would score again with five minutes left in the second quarter with second-and-one at the goal line, but a penalty and a sack kept them out of the end zone.

"The penalties killed us tonight," Hafey said. "We're going to get some holding penalties if we play hard, but there were too many."

Moffat was penalized 10 times for 85 yards. Three touchdowns were called back because of flags, and plays of 27, 25, 18, and 13 yards were negated because of penalties.

Battle Mountain was penalized five times for 50 yards.

In the final three minutes of the fourth quarter, the Moffat offense got out of penalty and mistake mode to score twice. Haddan ran over four would-be tacklers on his way to an eight-yard run with 2:25 left. The missed extra point made the game 14-0.

With 21 seconds left in the half, the Bulldog special teams came through again by shutting down another Husky punt at the Battle Mountain 15-yard line. During the next play, senior Cass Thompson went up and pulled a Derek Duran pass from a Husky defender in the end zone with 15 seconds left in the half.

"You just get that feeling like you're going to catch it no matter what," Thompson said of his first touchdown of the year.

Senior Jake Bilodeau added the extra point to make it 21-0 at halftime.

The first half belonged to the Bulldogs defense. The Bruisers in Blue didn't allow a first down and the Huskies' biggest play was a 12-yard run by Chad Wilkinson. They allowed a total of 22 yards.

As the second half started, the rain started to come down hard. The first play from scrimmage the Bulldogs went right back to where they finished off. Duran connected with Thompson for a 63-yard touchdown bomb.

"Since it was raining, they probably weren't thinking pass," Thompson said. "It took them off guard, and then I found some speed somewhere."

On the next play from scrimmage, Battle Mountain more than doubled its offensive yards with a 47-yard pass from Bart Cuomo to Andrew Martinez. The Huskies would end up with four first downs in the game, and they all came on plays of 12 yards or more.

The Bulldogs put the game away in the third quarter with two more touchdowns. The first came on a 1-yard Haddan run that was preceded by a 76-yard pass from Duran to senior Daniel Cramblett. After a Duran interception Haddan caught a dump pass on fourth and seven and ran it 28 yards for a score. When the fourth quarter started Moffat County led 40-0.

In the final quarter Drake got to the outside one more time for an 83-yard touchdown, and the Bulldog defense preserved the shutout.

"We had some miscommunications on defense, but overall we did well," Moffat County senior defensive back Justin Kawcak said. "It was slick out there though, and you had to run on your toes, so it made it tough."

Battle Mountain coach Pat Engle thought the rain and wind hampered what his team wanted to do on offense.

"We never could get our offense going much," he said. "They weren't doing anything to stop our pass, we just couldn't put a series of plays together. The wind and rain definitely kept us from doing the things we wanted to do."

Even though the score was one less touchdown from last year's 55-0 win by Moffat Engle felt much better about Friday's loss.

"Last year, our kids put their tails between their legs at halftime," he said. "They didn't quit this year."

The Bulldogs rushed 36 times for 266 yards. Drake led the team with 137 yards, and Duran scrambled his way to 88. Duran was seven for 17 for 207 yards in the air.

The Bulldog defense had two interceptions, and the special teams forced two turnovers. On offense, the Bulldogs fumbled the ball seven times but never lost a fumble. The Huskies rushed 21 times for 29 yards, and Cuomo was 6 for 26 for 132 yards. All statistics were very wet and very unofficial.

Next up for the 2-0 Bulldogs is a road trip to Gypsum for a game against Eagle Valley. The Devils lost, 6-7, against Rifle on Friday night. Last year, Moffat County defeated the Devils, 60-6.

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