If you go
What: Glenwood Springs High School varsity football vs. Moffat County High School
When: 7 p.m. today
Where: Moffat County High School, 900 Finley Lane
For more information, call the high school at 824-7036
At a glance
• Moffat County
Coach: Kip Hafey
Record: 5-3 (3-3 in Western Slope League)
Keys to the game: Ball control. With cold temperatures, Moffat County needs to hang onto the ball.
• Glenwood Springs
Coach: Rocky Whitworth
Record: 5-3 (5-1 in Western Slope League)
Craig For the Moffat County High School boys varsity basketball, the playoffs start tonight.
Facing an uphill battle to get into the playoffs, the Bulldogs will look to take down the Glenwood Springs High School Demons at 7 p.m. today at MCHS.
Coach Kip Hafey said the Bulldogs (5-3, 3-3 in Western Slope League play) will need to win tonight and Nov. 6 against Montezuma-Cortez to make it into the playoffs.
"We really are in a must win," he said. "At 7-3, we'll have a very good chance to get in. If we split the next two games, we might have something like a 10 percent chance."
Moffat County's playoff chances took a hit Oct. 23, taking a tough road loss against rival Steamboat Springs, in which the Sailors prevailed 42-14.
The Demons fell for the first time in the Western Slope League last week when it hosted Palisade High School.
Palisade, which uses a run-heavy offense designed to eat time, was able to win, 19-16, in overtime.
Moffat County, like Palisade, is a run-heavy, clock-killing machine - so long as the players hold onto the ball.
"The ball will be more like a rock than a pigskin," Hafey said. "We need to keep our offense on the field, we need to keep getting first downs, and we have to hold onto the ball."
Unless the Bulldogs make the playoffs, tonight's game also could be the last home game for Moffat County's senior class.
There also will be a parent's night presentation at 6:45 p.m. at the Bulldog Proving Grounds.
"Tonight's game is special because it's not just for the players, but their parents and everyone who has supported them since they were in Doak Walker," Hafey said. "It's a special night, and a big win would add to it."
When Glenwood Springs is on offense
Last year, Glenwood rode a perfect 14-0 record to win the 3A state title.
The team lost 2008's 3A player of the year Dakota Stonehouse to graduation, but quarterback Luke Jacob has managed to keep the Demons offense dangerous.
Tyler Thulson has emerged as a viable running back for the Demons.
Last week against Palisade, he carried the ball 10 times for 65 yards.
Garrett Kobobel caught three passes for the Demons last week against Palisade.
Because of the expected cold temperatures, the importance of making sure the Demons' runners are down is amplified.
"We have to make good tackles," Hafey said. "It's frozen out there, and if their running back makes a cut and we miss a tackle, he's gone."
Hafey said the Bulldog defense will give Glenwood several different looks.
"We're going to mix it up to keep them guessing," he said. "We are going to have some different blitz packages."
Moffat County was well prepared for Steamboat's Austin Hinder, but running back Joe Dover was able to ignite the Sailors offense with 187 yards rushing and four touchdowns.
Steamboat exploded for 28 points in the second quarter to pull away from the Bulldogs.
However, in the other three quarters, Steamboat and Moffat County were tied, 14-14.
Scott Mann, Linsacum, CJ Walt and Brian Ivy all had more than five tackles, with Ivy picking up a sack.
Nick Bulla forced and recovered a fumble to go along with a pair of tackles.
Moffat County's offense might prove to be its best defense.
"We have to keep their offense off the field," Hafey said. "We have to put together some long drives."
When Moffat County is on offense
Against a good Steamboat defense, the Bulldogs were able to move the ball.
Like the Steamboat game, the Bulldogs will have two of their major weapons back in Jasen Kettle and Pablo Salcido.
Salcido had 12 carries for 75 yards and four catches for 57 yards and one touchdown against the Sailors, while Kettle ran the ball eight times for 62 yards and one touchdown.
Quarterback Matt Linsacum connected on five passes for 67 yards and one touchdown, while running 16 times for 46 yards.
Glenwood's defense has come on lately.
The Demons have limited their opponents to 16 points a game this season, while the Bulldogs have averaged more than 20.
Nick Ciani is the Demons' anchor on defense.
As a linebacker, he represents a snag in Moffat County's running game.
"They also have a good nose guard, and I know they will look to them to lead their defense," Hafey said. "Those are two big defensive threats, so we need to make sure we block to give our running backs some room."