GLENWOOD SPRINGS — It was almost as if Moffat County High School head coach Kip Hafey had a crystal ball when he predicted what the football game against Glenwood Springs would look like — at least in the first half anyway.
Hafey said his team was going to try to keep the ball in their own hands as much as possible, which they did possessing the ball for 20 of the first half’s 24 minutes.
The reason for that game plan was because Hafey feared that Glenwood’s offense had enough weapons and team speed that it had big-play and quick-score potential. The Demons proved him right because all they need was two big plays, a 60-yard run by quarterback Luke Jacobs and a 20-yard pass completion from Jacobs to Cam Avery, to take a 14-7 lead. The Demons had 15 plays, only nine for positive yards in the first half. Moffat County, on the other hand, had 29 plays.
“It was pretty close to what we expected the first half,” Hafey said. “We held onto the ball and trailed just 14-7 at half. We felt good about the game plan and our chances at that point.”
But in the second half, Glenwood’s adjustments and a handful of Moffat micsues led to a 35-7 final in favor of the home team.
“You know what, we really didn’t make very many good plays tonight but the scoreboard didn’t reflect that,” Glenwood coach Rocky Whitworth said. “We got a little lucky on plays that normally wouldn’t happen, but that’s the way it goes some nights.”
Three yards and a cloud of dust
The Bulldogs started the night running in their “thunder” formation. That package is basically three guys in the backfield running the ball straight up the gut. It worked early as on the Bulldogs’ second possession quarterback Bubba Ivers found some running room for a 35-yard touchdown run with 6 minutes, 28 seconds left in the third quarter. The score put the Dogs up 7-0.
Moffat County continued with the same formation all first half. The team carried the ball 27 times for 116 yards. Take Ivers’ 35-yard run out and the Bulldogs averaged roughly three-yards a carry.
For the first time this year, senior Gage Spears moved from the offensive line to running back. He carried the ball seven times for 20 yards in the first half.
“We knew we had to have patience on offense,” Spears said. “We kept pounding it and the coaches told us at half time it’s what we had to keep doing it.”
Turnovers change the scheme
Glenwood’s adjustments after halftime worked right out of the locker room. The Demons used misdirection and a spread look to drive the ball six plays and 55-yards for s score. Chad Montover finished the drive with a 1-yard run.
The Bulldogs picked up two first downs and moved into Demon territory on the next drive but Glenwood forced and recovered a fumble on the Demon’s 40-yard line. The Bulldogs almost got the ball back three plays later, but a would-be interception slipped through Nathan Chapman’s arms. Two plays later, Jacobs hit Avery for a 45-yard reception. Two plays later, with 3:03 remaining in the third quarter Jacobs ran the ball in to put his team up 28-7.
Down three scores the Bulldogs switched to a spread offense and were able to move the ball, but three consecutive interceptions doomed the Dogs. Glenwood converted one of the interceptions into a 26-yard touchdown run by Jacobs for the final, 35-7 score.
“Again turnovers in the second half stopped us,” Hafey said. “Three against Palisade and four against Glenwood. It makes a game we are competing in look lopsided.”
The Bulldogs now, 2-4 and 1-2 in the Western Slope League know that on paper their hardest parts of the schedule are now behind them. They also know that for any chance of the playoffs they half to be perfect the rest of the season.
“If we win out we go 6-4 and we have a chance to make the playoffs,’ Hafey said. “I’m proud of our kids and if we get a couple of guys healthy to finish out the season we have a chance to make that run.”