The Moffat County High School varsity football team looks to continue a late-season surge at 7 p.m. tonight when they face the Eagle Valley Devils in Gypsum.
The 4-4 Bulldogs are coming off a 21-18 overtime upset against 6-2 Rifle. The last-minute victory does not guarantee the Bulldogs a spot in the playoffs, but a win over 2-5 Eagle Valley could improve their postseason chances.
With six starters out with injuries, MCHS has reason to sweat.
However, the Bulldogs have come out on top in five of the last seven games against the Devils.
Eagle Valley also has lost their last four games, beating only 0-8 Steamboat Springs in the 3A Western Slope League.
Like the Bulldogs, the Devils also had a close game with Rifle, losing 7-6 on Oct. 1.
Both teams are running the ball, which equals a fast game. The first quarter took 17 minutes to complete. Neither team scored, with both driving the ball to the opponents 30 yards line. Both teams also failed to convert on fourth down at the 30 yard lines. Moffat County was driving the ball in Eagle Valley territory as the first quarter ended.
Moffat County scores the game's first points. The Bulldogs had first down and goal from the 2-yard line, but it took three carries and a penalty to find the end zone. Hodge Raftopoulos scored with 9:43 remaining in the second quarter. Jonathan Pando's kick was good for a 7-0 lead for Moffat County.
Moffat County forces a fumble on the first play of Eagle Valley's possession after the touchdown. The Bulldogs make Eagle Valley pay, with a 10-play drive for a touchdown. Bubba Ivers scored the touchdown on a 1-yard drive. The point after was good and with 4:23 remaining in the second quarter the Bulldogs lead 14-0.
Turnovers have plagued the Bulldogs in league losses, but tonight they are forcing the TOs. After a penalty on the first play of Eagle Valley's drive, Moffat County's Zach Raftopoulos intercepted Eagle Valley's ames Van Dyke on the 40 and runs it to the 20. The offense capitalizes with a five-play drive. Gage Spears punched it in for the score. Pando remains perfect in his PATs for the season. Moffat County up 21-0 with 1 minute remaining in the second quarter.
the clock ticks to an end of the second quarter with Eagle Valley on the 50-yard line. Because of two turnovers the Bulldogs dominated the first half on the scoreboard and in the stats. The Bulldogs carried the ball 33 times for 150 yards. Hodge Raftopoulos had 14 carries for 64 yards and Bubba Ivers had 56 yards on seven carries. Eagle Valley's Matt Kottenstette led the Devils with eight carries for 32 yards. The Devils had a total of 75 yards in the half.
Eagle Valley pulls something our of the Battle Mountain bag of tricks to start the second half. The Devils use two screen passes for gains of 45 and 9 yards, the last one a touchdown. The Devils moved down the field in seven plays. The kick was good and with 9:09 left in the third quarter the score is 21-7 MCHS.
For the first time in the game the punters get acton. MCHS's first possession of the half resulted in a three-and-out. Eagle Valley looked to gain the momentum, but the Bulldog defense came through with two negative yardage plays to stop the Devil's next drive. On the first play after the punt, Ivers busted through the line and wasn't stopped. He ran for 68 yards for the touchdown. Pando's kick was blocked. With 2:53 remaining in the third quarter the Bulldogs lead 27-7.
The Bulldogs have found some space on offense in the second half. The BUlldogs score on a drive that included a 35-yard pass play from Ivers to Brady Conner and a 46-yard run by Hodge Raftopoulos. Ivers put it in from 2-yards out. Kick was good. With 8:53 remaining in the fourth quarter it's 34-7.
The Devils take advantage of Moffat County putting in its second-team secondary with 50-yard and 17-yard pass plays. The latter was for the touchdown. With 2:34 remaining in the game it is 34-14 MCHS.
Moffat County moves one win closer to the post season with a dominating 34-14 win against Eagle Valley.
Next week the Bulldogs finish out the regular season against rival Steamboat Springs.
For more on the story, read the Saturday Morning Press or visit www.craigdailypress.com.