Craig Starting the season 2-0 builds confidence.
Losing to state-ranked Palisade gives some insight as to where the program needs to improve.
Dropping two more games in a row to begin a three-game losing streak brings about questions.
"How can we compete with these teams if we aren't on the same level as them?" head coach Kip Hafey said.
"How can my kids out-muscle a team that has football classes and takes weightlifting every day?"
The answer is found in coaching.
Hafey and defensive coordinator Lance Scranton are out to prove that the Bulldogs shouldn't be taken lightly.
Berthoud High School - ranked No. 5 in 3A - visits the Bulldog proving grounds Friday.
"They are an outstanding team," Hafey said. "They are tough, fast and big, but we can beat them."
Moffat County has faced Berthoud twice before, with the teams splitting the match-ups. The Bulldogs knocked the Tri-Valley Conference Spartans out of the playoffs three years ago. Berthoud achieved redemption, defeating Moffat County last year at home.
"Our weight program doesn't match-up to theirs," Hafey said, "but we have the talent and technique to win."
On the offensive side of the ball -
The Bulldogs will be minus two more starters on offense this week. Wide receiver Paul Nelson and running back Matt Kincheloe won't be suiting up Friday. Wide receiver Drew Turner is questionable.
"We could be down six of our original 11 starters from the beginning of the season,' Hafey said. "It's possible that we will be starting six sophomores."
Hafey said his offensive line is too tall for his quarterback.
Starting QB Jake Bricker can't see over them to locate his receivers.
"We are going to roll him out more this week," he said. "That will get him some better looks."
On the defensive side of the ball -
Coach Scranton said the Bulldogs base 30 defense is a perfect match for the spread offense of the Spartans.
"We are built for this type of game," he said. "We will watch the sides a bit more, but the base is the same."
In the Bulldogs 40-26 loss to Steamboat last week, the defense gave up 30 points in the first half. Moffat County's defense yielded just 10 in the second half.
"We need to play a complete game," Scranton said. "We have been great in the second half. We need to come out with that same fire in the first."
The Bulldogs have been working on gap assignments and players trusting that one another will be in the right spot, at the right time.
"They need to trust that they will each do their job," Scranton said. "If they do that, we can get some momentum heading back into league play.
"Momentum is huge."
John Vandelinder can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or firstname.lastname@example.org