Soccer coach Jeff Hammond mentioned earlier in the week that he thought playing a bigger school would help his Bulldogs prepare for league games. What he didn't expect was for his team to come out and take Central High School into double overtime and earn a 3-3 tie.
"We knew it was going to be a good fight with Central," Hammond said. "But, as history would have it, we have not done that well in overtime. I don't think they expected what we gave them."
Central coach Larry Johnson said he was surprised.
"I think any team would be surprised," Johnson said. "Moffat came out strong, and we have a young defensive team this year."
What the Bulldogs gave the Warriors was a 2-0 deficit 14 minutes into the game.
Off a penalty kick eight minutes into the game, Moffat County forward Oscar Ramos drilled the shot past goalie Tyler Felker for a 1-0 lead.
The penalty kick resulted from Bulldog Cole DuBois being dragged down in the box, during a breakaway.
The second goal for the Bulldogs was a chip shot just over Felker by Jose Valdez off a pass from defensemen Tucker Bilodeau at the 14-minute mark.
Plagued with some nagging injures, Hammond knows his team can't afford to lose any players.
"I think the guys were kind of surprised by the lead," Hammond said.
The surprise was just enough of a window to let Central back in the game as it quickly closed the gap, scoring two back-to-back goals before the end of the first half.
"The last few years, we've played tight with them," Hammond said.
Johnson thought that it showed a lot of poise for his team to come back and score at 23:00 and again 37:00 to close the gap.
Freshman Brendan Black struck first for the Warriors and was followed up by Casey Johnson's goal before the end of the half.
"I was extremely pleased with my midfield and forwards," coach Johnson said. "I thought it was a good opening game for us."
The second half was slow for the first 29 minutes until Bulldog forward Armando Lopez rifled a shot from 25 yards into the upper left corner of the goal.
"Armando's goal was a nice solid shot," Hammond said.
The Warriors were once again down, 3-2, but they got a goal on a breakaway from Kahler Grandbouche at 80:00.
All tied up, the Bulldogs and Warriors started the first of what would be two sudden-death overtimes. During the first overtime, the Bulldogs almost gave the game away with an illegal touch in the box that set up a penalty kick for the Warriors, but as luck would have it, the ball ricocheted off the Bulldogs and play continued.
In the second extra period, Moffat County had a chance to end the game, but the shot deflected off the post and out of play.
The final whistle blew, and the score remained 3-3.
The Bulldogs who are now 0-1-1 will have four days to prepare for Glenwood Springs, in a matchup at home that should be exciting.
The Glenwood Springs game is set for 11 a.m. Saturday at Loudy-Simpson Park.
Melanie McDaniels can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or firstname.lastname@example.org.