Bulldogs fall in playoff opener

Mistakes hamper Moffat County in 26-0 loss at Summit

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Editor's note: The incorrect version of the Bulldog football story was published in Monday's Daily Press. This is the correct version. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Saturday's playoff opener was supposed to be an encore to the second half of the season that the Moffat County football team put together. What it ended up being was a broken record of the same mistakes that hampered the Bulldogs at the beginning of the season.

"You're not going to win in the playoffs with five turnovers," Bulldog coach Kip Hafey said. "And that's why you have to hand it to Summit."

The Bulldogs came into the 2006 playoffs with a 5-5 record, and fell 26-0 to the Summit Tigers, a team that has rolled opponents all season and is now 11-0 heading into next week's quarterfinals.

Summit coach Dylan Holling-

sworth had one feeling after Saturday's first round playoff win against Moffat County.

"It feels great," Hollingsworth said. "I wish I could come up with another word to describe it. I'm excited for the kids and for our program."

The Tigers came into Saturday's game uncertain how they would match up size-wise with the Bulldogs, but proved size doesn't matter.

"Today was a testament to everybody who said we played in a weak league," Hollingsworth said. "I think we proved some things today. We may not have played in the strongest league, but we played solid opponents. And we can play football."

First quarter

The opening drive of the game for Summit was a 15-play series that resulted in a touchdown for the Tigers. A controversial call kept the ball in Summit's hands on the 1-yard line. On the previous play, a Summit handoff, Moffat County's J.T. Haddan emerged from the bottom of the pile with possession of the ball.

However, the referees ruled the Summit ball carrier down, keeping possession with the Tigers.

"On that drive I thought we had the strip down inside," Hafey said. "It was just one of those things where the ball didn't bounce our way today."

A quarterback keeper and extra point gave Summit a 7-0 lead with 4:36 left in the first.

On the ensuing kick off, the Bulldogs mishandled the ball and ended up with a penalty that trapped them inside their 5-yard line. Punting after three plays, the Bulldogs gave the ball back to Summit with 2:35 left on the clock.

After forcing the Tigers to punt, Moffat County was ready to roll up its sleeves and try again.

With good field position at their own 48-yard line, the Bulldogs attempted to do what they do best -- run the ball.

Summit anticipated, and on the second play of the series it forced a Haddan fumble.

Zach Campbell recovered the ball for the Tigers.

Second quarter

With the ball in Summit's hands to start the second quarter, tough defense would be needed to keep the game within reach for Moffat County.

That plan didn't work as well as the team hoped.

With 10:32 left on the clock, Summit scored on a big, 52-yard strike from quarterback Talon Roggasch to Braden Shoop, who ran away from his defender into the end zone. Summit missed the extra point. The Tigers would strike again before the end of the quarter on a 25-yard field goal by Shoop for a 16-0 lead.

The Tigers were able to amass 134-yards of offense on seven first downs in the first half.

Splitting time in the air and on the ground, Moffat County was held to 15-yards of offense in the first half and one first down. The Bulldogs had the ball for 8:50 of the 24 minutes possible.

"It was tough," Hafey said. "Time of possession killed us and we couldn't get the offense rolling,"

Third quarter

When the second half kicked off, fans and players alike expected to see a different side of Moffat County, but senior Brice Boling said his team didn't show up to play. Boling made two big plays during the third quarter, the first a monster hit on Tiger wide receiver Ryan Eberhart and the second an interception of a Roggasch pass.

"I was just trying to get the momentum on our side of the ball," Boling said. "It just didn't turn out."

The Bulldogs and Tigers traded possessions during the third quarter, but neither team gave an inch.

Holding Summit scoreless meant that Moffat County still had a chance in the last 12 minutes, provided it could establish an offensive rhythm.

But the Bulldogs never got that opportunity.

"I'm proud of the kids," Hafey said. "They played their tails off today."

Fourth quarter

As the final quarter started, Moffat County knew it was do or die. As Summit punted, Moffat County came down the field on fire -- maybe a little too much -- and was penalized for roughing the kicker. The flag gave Summit the ball back and a first down.

Summit capitalized on the mistake, and drove to the Bulldog's 1-yard line, but a sack by senior Klein Nielson pushed the Tigers back to the 18-yard line, and put them at fourth and long.

Hollingsworth called the kicking team on the field and Shoop put a 28-yard field goal through the uprights for a 19-0 lead.

Something needed to change for Moffat County -- there was 8:18 left in the game and Hafey and the Bulldogs needed a spark -- but with limited options the Bulldogs stuck to the game plan.

After throwing an interception with 6:11 on the clock, Moffat County's defense was back on the field. It took Summit only six plays to find the end zone and a 26-0 lead.

With 5:01 left in the game, and an insurmountable lead, the Bulldogs knew their season was coming to an end.

"I just don't think any of us played the way we should have today," Nielson said. "We could have played a lot better. We were more than capable of beating this team."

Asked if he thought there was a chance that the Bulldogs overlooked Summit, Hafey responded that he didn't think so.

"If you're in the playoffs, you're a good team," Hafey said. "And if you overlook anybody you get beat. We just had some breaks that didn't go our way today."

With 12 seniors on the team, it was a tough loss to stomach for many.

"We had a pretty good season," Nielson said. "I know for sure we could have had a lot better record than what we do. And I think we were capable of going further in the playoffs."

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