Bulldogs football hosts Panthers in season finale

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If you go

What: MCHS football vs. Montezuma-Cortez

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Moffat County High School, 900 Finley Lane

• For more information, call 970-824-7036

Class 3A Western Slope Conference standings

Conf Overall

Glenwood Springs 7-0 9-0

Palisade 7-1 9-1

Steamboat Springs 6-1 8-1

Eagle Valley 4-3 4-5

Delta 2-5 4-5

Montezuma-Cortez 2-5 3-5

Moffat County 2-5 3-6

Rifle 2-5 2-7

Battle Mountain 0-7 0-9

Moffat County at a glance

Hafey with Bulldogs: seventh season

2008 record: 3-6 overall, 2-5 Western Slope League

Opp.W/L (overall): 44-36

PPG: 19.1

Opp. PPG: 34.2

Streak: lost two

Career record at Moffat County (overall): 41-34-1

Hafey vs. Panthers: 6-0

Bulldogs starters:

OFFENSE

QB Matt Linsacum

RB Halen Raymond

RB Pablo Salcido

WB Jasen Kettle

WR Scott Mann

TE Chet Harvey

LT Casey Martin

LG Cody Adams

C Jeremiah Gordon

RG Gage Spears

RT Angelo Raftopoulas

DEFENSE

DT Ethan Robinson

DT Justin Benedict

NG Hunter Zellers

LB Lyle Schaffner

LB Todd Stewart

LB Nathan Tomlin

LB Jordan Wilson

LB Frank Archuleta

CB Alex McCoy

CB Aaron Nielson

FS Scott Mann

Hafey's keys to victory:

• Offense. Hafey said if the Bulldogs' offense can execute a few big plays early, it could provide the team with momentum.

• Rushing. The Bulldogs, according to Hafey, need to run the ball against Cortez and establish all three of the team's running backs. Hafey said he would like to see more than 200 yards rushing Friday.

• Underclassmen. The four sophomores and one junior on the offensive line are in for their biggest game of the year, Hafey said. He said they need to step up and sustain their blocks if the team expects to come away with a victory.

Montezuma-Cortez at a glance

Cotter with Panthers: first season

2008 record: 3-5 overall, 2-5 Western Slope League

Opp. W/L overall: 40-33

PPG: 21.3

Opp. PPG: 37.8

Streak: lost three

Career record at Montezuma-Cortez: 3-5

Cotter vs. MCHS: 0-0

Panthers starters:

OFFENSE

QB Logan Case

HB Keenan Garcia

FB Caleb Hollar

WR Tommy Taylor

WR Joe Maestas

WR Kienan Tibbits

LT Josh Finley

LG Jared Woodrow

C Kody Deavers

RG Matt Schuster

RT Hayden Morehead

DEFENSE

DE Matt Schuster

DT Jared Woodrow

DT Carlin Daves

DE Schies Anderson

LB Keenan Garcia

LB Caleb Hollar

LB Tommy Taylor

LB Kienan Tibbits

CB Breen McComb

CB Cody Emerson

FS Ryan Haley

Cotter's keys to victory:

• Penalties. Last week, the Panthers ran into penalty trouble, and Cotter said his team must stay away from the mental mistakes Friday night.

• Turnovers. Cotter said not turning over the football is something he preaches about every week.

• Defense. Not allowing Moffat County's offense to execute big plays is something Cotter said his defense must do if the Panthers are to have a chance at victory.

On paper, Moffat County and Cortez appear to be two evenly matched teams.

Each has won three games this season and is searching for a fourth in Friday's regular season finale.

Moffat County averages 19.1 points per game, while Cortez averages 21.3. The Bulldogs are allowing 34.2 ppg defensively - the Panthers, 37.8.

But high school football contests aren't won and lost on paper.

That's why they play the games.

The Bulldogs are coming off of consecutive losses to Steamboat Springs (43-7) and Glenwood Springs (41-7), while Cortez enters the Bulldogs Proving Grounds having dropped three in a row.

The Panthers fell to Palisade (59-3), Eagle Valley (23-3) and Delta (51-35).

"We're going out there to win," Moffat County coach Kip Hafey said. "We want to win so we can send our seniors out on a high note, and it would also be great to have momentum heading into next year by ending on a win."

The similarity between the two teams also carries over to the sidelines.

Cortez's first-year coach, Chuck Cotter, echoed Hafey's sentiments when commenting on the Panthers final game of the season.

"We obviously want to end the season with a win," he said. "We need to take care of what we do, and not worry about what they do, and come away with a win our last game."

As far as the two teams being evenly matched, Cotter said a big play here or there will break the opposition's back.

"With two evenly matched teams like ours," he said, "it's going to come down to whoever makes the least mistakes, has the fewest penalties and which team breaks open the big play. The team that does that will win."

Friday marks the final game for seniors Lyle Schaffner, Ethan Robinson and Hunter Zellers.

Hafey said Zellers turned into a "pleasant surprise" this season, Schaffner is "a workhorse" and Robinson "has been great. He can play at the next level if he wants to.

"They are definitely going to be missed."

Injuries:

Bulldogs: Brady Conner (season - knee).

Panthers: none.

Inactive players:

Bulldogs: none.

Panthers: none.

Notes: Moffat County won last season's game, 33-29, in a nail-biter that came down to the last play. Hafey is a perfect 6-0 against Cortez in his head-coaching career. The teams have played seven common opponents, with each team losing to Steamboat Springs, Palisade, Glenwood Springs and Eagle Valley. Both teams defeated Battle Mountain. Moffat County lost to Rifle, a team Cortez beat, while the Panthers lost to Delta - a team the Bulldogs defeated in Week 5. The teams' final match will be played on Halloween.

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