Do or die

Bulldogs in a must-win situation

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The little things -- namely fumbles -- have hindered the Moffat County Bulldogs' football game this season.

But, coach Kip Hafey sees renewed spirits on the horizon and is ready to take on Eagle Valley on Friday night at Eagle Valley.

"We know that Eagle Valley is a good team this year," Hafey said.

After an unexpected loss to the Devils last season, the Bulldogs know what they're up against.

"They create a lot of chaos for offenses and defenses," Hafey said about the Devils. "They take you out of the game."

Wednesday's practice started off a little rocky for the Bulldogs. The offense lined up to kick an extra point, and the defense tried to block it, but both sides ended up running hills because of an off-sides call by the coaches.

Kicker Cory Pike had enough, and he shouted for his team to "get it right!"

Hafey was just glad to see some reaction.

"Emotion is good," Hafey yelled.

The Bulldogs have been working on the little things this week, and Hafey has seen improvement.

"We took a lot of snaps this week," Hafey said. "We need to eliminate the things we can control."

What Moffat County hasn't been able to do this season is hold on to the ball.

"If we don't fumble the ball, we're sitting undefeated," Hafey said. "We've beat ourselves in the last two games."

In the last two games the Bulldogs have been penalized 11 times for 70 yards, but their biggest downfall has been the 14 fumbles they have committed.

"You can't (fumble) if you want to win," Hafey said.

The Bulldogs have their work cut out for them against Eagle Valley, a team that last week upset No. 2 ranked Steamboat Springs, 16-6.

Now, Moffat County (1-2 overall, 0-2 league) is ranked No. 8 in the Western Slope League, and Eagle Valley (1-2 overall, 1-0 league) is ranked No. 3.

Last year, the Devils finished 10-2 overall and lost to Steamboat Springs in the opening round of the playoffs.

Quarterback Andrew Drake said his team needs to focus.

"Our backs are against the wall right now," Drake said. "We need to go out and play hard. After Battle Mountain we lost our intensity. Hopefully we can pull this out going into homecoming."

Hafey said that anything is possible in the league, but the ultimate goal of the Bulldogs is securing a spot in the playoffs.

"We need some luck," Hafey said. "We've had some tough breaks."

Hafey knows his team is capable of more, and it has showed at moments.

"We're still in the game," Hafey said. "If we can take care of the little things, hopefully it will go our way."

The Bulldogs play the Devils at 7 p.m. Friday in Eagle.

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

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