Moffat County: 14
Box Score 1 2 3 4 F
MCHS: 7 0 0 7 14
PHS: 20 15 7 0 42
MCHS Team Statistics PHS
8 First Downs 14
41-230 Rushes-yards 52-360
19 Passing-yards 75
2-6-1 Comp-att-int 4-7-0
5-154 Punts 2-55
6-2 Fumbles-lost 1-1
4-25 Penalties-yards 7-45
PHS: Fehlman 1 run (Fehlman kick) 7:36
PHS: Wagler 5 run (Blackmon kick) 4:27
MCHS: Salcido 83 run (Raymond kick) 4:07
PHS: Appling 10 run (pass failed) 1:31
PHS: Brannon 85 run (Fehlman run) 7:50
PHS: Wagler 15 run (Blackmon kick) 7:33
PHS: Fehlman 17 run (Blackmon kick) 7:47
MCHS: Kettle 12 run (Raymond kick) 7:26
Key individual statistics
Pablo Salcido 10-136-1td
Jasen Kettle 14-80-1td
Jesse Brannon 14-171-1td
Travis Fehlman 14-93-2td
Matt Linsacum 2-6-19
Jake Appling 3-3-75
Pablo Salcido 2-19
Steaphen Isaac 2-60
Having never beaten the Palisade Bulldogs during his previous six years at the helm, Moffat County High School football coach Kip Hafey was looking forward to the opportunity this season.
Be careful what you wish for.
Palisade - the No. 2 team in the state - simply overpowered MCHS, prevailing, 42-14, Friday night at the Bulldog proving grounds.
Palisade (5-0 overall, 3-0 Western Slope League), ran over, through and around MCHS (1-3 overall, 1-2 WSL), keeping Hafey winless against his former school.
Hafey won a state championship in 1996 as defensive backs coach at Palisade.
"We had the more experienced team out there tonight," Palisade coach John Arledge said. "They have a lot of potential over there. In years to come, they will be a force to reckon with. But now, it's our time."
And Palisade's experience did just that.
Led by the bruising running of fullback Jesse Brannon (14 carries, 171 yards and a touchdown) Palisade scored early and often against the smaller team from Craig.
Rotating between the junior Brannon and senior Travis Fehlman, Palisade jumped out to an early 14-0 lead.
Moffat County answered behind the running of junior Pablo Salcido.
Salcido burst through the defensive line of Palisade for an 83-yard jaunt on his first carry of the evening, emitting a loud cheer from the home crowd, as Moffat County pulled within one score at 14-7.
"Our offensive blocking stepped up," Salcido said. "We weren't ever thinking we were going to lose. They sweat like we do, and they are football players just like us. Why couldn't we beat them?"
Palisade answered Salcido's question on its very next possession.
On fourth down, senior quarterback Jake Appling scrambled for a 10-yard touchdown.
The ensuing 2-point conversion failed, keeping Moffat County within striking distance.
Palisade's offense stalled on its next possession, when MCHS junior Todd Stewart forced Appling to fumble, which was recovered by Moffat County on the 15-yard line.
Looking to pull within six, Hafey called for a bootleg pass into the end zone.
"We were going for it right then and there," Hafey said. "We had two guys open in the end zone, but it didn't work out the way we wanted it too."
The way it did work out was in Palisade's favor.
Seniors Zach Adair and Aaron Wagler broke through Moffat County's offensive line for consecutive sacks and on third down, Fehlman forced a fumble, which was recovered by Jeremy Brannon.
"We almost let them back into the game right there," Arledge said. "We have got to take care of the ball, in any and every situation."
Palisade then scored four unanswered touchdowns to break the game open.
MCHS junior Jasen Kettle accounted for the final margin of victory, scoring on a 12-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Next up, Moffat County travels to Delta, while Palisade visits Steamboat Springs in a match up of two top-10 teams in the state's 3A football rankings.