'A big step toward the playoffs'

Bulldogs football prepares for home opener

If you go

What: MCHS varsity football hosts Battle Mountain High School

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Moffat County High School, 900 Finley Lane

Call: 824-7036

Projected starters

Offense

QB Jake Bricker

RB Eli Buckner

WR Paul Nelson

WR Colton Conrad

WR Tyler Roach

WR Drew Turner

T Colton Murray

T Ethan Robinson

G Dillon Guinn

G Austin Hill

C Travis Wilson

Defense

DT Ethan Robinson

DT Brian Ivy

NG Travis Wilson

LB Matt Kincheloe

LB Drew Turner

LB J.T. Haddan

LB Robert Daniels

CB Paul Nelson

CB Eli Buckner

CB Tyler Roach

S Jake Bricker

— No drifting.

Set the feet.

Then go.

Those are the three rules Moffat County High School head football coach Kip Hafey is working on with his kick-off and punt return teams this week, after his team fumbled three kicks last week.

Despite the return problems, the Bulldogs prevailed, 20-0, against Rawlins High School out of Wyoming. But Friday's league game against Battle Mountain might prove to be tougher.

"We can't make the same mistakes we made last week if we expect to be on top at the end of the year," Hafey said. "It was really scary to watch every time they kicked the ball to us."

The Bulldogs lost last season to Battle Mountain, 14-6.

"We lost to them last year for the first time in over a decade," Hafey said. "But they won't sneak up on us again."

Battle Mountain brings an option attack, which Huskies head coach Jason Sedlak said is the teams' basic offense.

"We're going to run the same stuff we did last year," he said. "You are what you are."

Running back Ryan Hendrick leads the Huskies' attack, after amassing more than 1,300 yards last season.

"They have a top running back over there," Hafey said. "We are going to have to contain him on defense and keep swarming to the ball."

Bulldog quarterback Jake Bricker had a stinger throughout last week's game, and Hafey said that would dictate how the offense is run this week.

Bricker completed two of seven passes for 47 yards.

"We want to air it out more," he said. "But we are not going to pass unless we have to."

Leading the Moffat County ground attack are Drew Turner and J.T. Haddan, who had the lion's share of the 186 yards on the ground against Rawlins.

More than anything, the game is a chance for the Bulldogs to get a strong start in Western Slope play. And despite last year's loss, Hafey insists revenge isn't the leading factor heading into this game.

"It's not a 'get back' game for us," he said. "This is a league game. We've got to win it. It's a big step toward the playoffs."

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