It all seemed like a bad dream.
Class 3A's No. 4-ranked Moffat County football team was down 27-0 to unranked Eagle Valley, and there was one quarter left.
"We started the season with our eyes on the Palisade game," senior quarterback and defensive back Derek Duran said. "We didn't come out pumped up, and it cost us."
The Bulldogs came up with a gut check in the fourth quarter to score three times, but it wasn't enough in a 27-19 loss. It was the first time in three seasons that Moffat County lost to an unranked league opponent.
"Our other losses were legitimate in the past," said senior Kevin Loughran, who has played on varsity since his sophomore year. "That game was one we should have won."
It's probably fitting that the Bulldogs were unable to watch the game tape during the weekend. Something went wrong with the recorder. Coach Kip Hafey doesn't need to see the tape to know what went wrong with his team.
"We can't keep turning the ball over," he said. "We played poorly, and we still would have won without the turnovers."
Moffat turned over the ball four times. Eagle Valley scored on three of those turnovers. Two of the turnovers also came in Eagle Valley territory.
The loss sets up an interesting situation in the Western Slope League. Right now, it's Palisade and then everybody else. At 2-0, Palisade is in the driver's seat with four teams (Rifle, Steamboat Springs, Eagle Valley and Moffat County) at 1-1 and two teams (Glenwood Springs and Montezuma Cortez) at 1-0. Those six teams are in the playoff hunt the rest of the season.
"Every game matters for us now," Hafey said. "It sets up a playoff game for us this Friday against Steamboat."
Loughran said the rest of the season was about respect.
"The community lost some respect for us," Loughran said. "They expect us to do well, and we need to show them we can play this Friday."
On paper, the Sailors are favored after beating Rifle, which defeated Eagle Valley. But in one of the biggest rivalries in the Western Slope League, nothing is ever certain.
"One thing for sure is that we'll be ready from the beginning," Duran said. "From that point on, we have to play better."