On the line

One team keeps going, the other goes home after Saturday's playoff game

Are the Summit Tigers beatable? That's the question the Bulldog football team will try to answer this week.

Bulldog coach Kip Hafey thinks the answer is "yes."

"Absolutely," Hafey said. "Anything can happen in the playoffs."

Hafey said that the top 16 teams don't get into the playoffs easily. And once you're there, showing up is only half the battle.

Summit, the top team in the Central Metro Conference and No. 7 in the state, has a 10-0 record. The Bulldogs are 5-5, but four of those five losses have come to teams in the top 10.

"In 10 weeks of football, so much can happen," Hafey said.

The Bulldogs scratched and clawed their way into a playoff spot, and Hafey said his team doesn't want to see the season end.

"We have to do things to be one step ahead of our opponents," Hafey said. "And each day we hope to get better."

Summit coach Dylan Hollingsworth is working to get his players to focus on what they have done all season -- win.

There are a few things Holl--ingsworth knows his team needs to do to come out on top. The biggest of those challenges is finding a way to combat the size of Moffat County.

"We have to figure out how to match up with them physically," Hollingsworth said. "They are big."

Some critics say the Tigers' record is a product of a schedule short on competitive teams. Hollingsworth has a different take and gladly invites anyone to come watch his team play.

"It took us awhile to find our identity, but we're a solid team," Hollingsworth said. "We feel like we can play with anyone."

Hollingsworth said the key to winning the game is to take what you can get.

"We believe we can take advantage of what a team gives us," Hollingsworth said. "If they give us the run, we'll take it."

The Tigers have one of the top receivers in the state and can spread out their offense to run or pass.

"We play a little of both," Hollingsworth said. "It's more of an open attack."

And, if the Bulldogs aren't ready for that attack this weekend, their worst fear -- a season-ending loss -- might come true, because in the playoffs, it's win or go home.

"They have a lot of weapons, and hopefully we're prepared for that," Hafey said.

Senior Andrew Drake understands that his team goes into this game an underdog, but said that fires the players up even more.

"We're going to come out hard because we have something to prove," Drake said. "If we show up Saturday, we know what we're capable of."

The focus this week for Moffat County has been getting back to the basics. After a mental lapse against Rifle, the Bulldogs have returned their attention to tackling and reading their opponents.

"Summit runs some really good bootlegs, and we have to be disciplined," Hafey said.

Offensively, the Bulldogs will continue perfecting their ground game.

"The name of our game is smash-mouth football," Hafey said. "And even the teams that have beat us don't want to play us again. We go out and smash you in the mouth.

"We're not fancy. We're just a blue-collar football team."

The battle to stay alive begins 1 p.m. Saturday in Frisco at Summit High School.

Melanie McDaniels can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or mmcdaniels@craigdailypress.com.

Moffat County offense

Be physical. The size advantage lies with the Bulldogs. Time of possession: the more the ball is in Bulldogs' hands, the better for Moffat County.

Summit defense

Make tackles and avoid penalties. Hollingsworth's team has had problems with on-field behavior before, and with the bulk of Moffat County, the first contact has to be a tackle for the Tigers.

Summit offense

Hollingsworth wants the ball in the hands of his offense. They need to establish a rhythm and take care of the ball by avoiding turnovers.

Moffat County defense

Pressure. Put pressure on the quarterback. Create turnovers, shut down big plays and make good tackles.

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