Game at a glance
Moffat County High School Bulldogs
(4-4 overall, 3-2 in the Western Slope League)
Eagle Valley High School Devils
(2-5 overall, 1-4 in WSL)
— 7 p.m. at Eagle Valley High School in Gypsum
The last time the Moffat County High School football team traveled to Vail Valley, it hopped off the bus prepared to face an option attack.
But to their surprise, Battle Mountain had a new quarterback and ended up throwing for more than 350 yards.
This week, the Bulldogs don’t expect too many surprises as they return to the I-70 corridor to face Eagle Valley.
“As long as I’ve known (Eagle Valley) Coach Ramunno, he’s had the same offense,” MCHS coach Kip Hafey said. “We expect to see double tight-ends and a double wing offense.”
The 4-4 Bulldogs (3-2 in the Western Slope League) come off two overtime victories with no easy task tonight, Hafey said.
“Eagle Valley has been playing teams tough,” he said. “You look at their 7-6 loss to Rifle and know they have a stout defense.”
On paper, the advantage tonight goes to the Bulldogs, who have beat two teams — Rifle and Delta — that defeated the 2-5 (1-4 in the WSL) Devils. But Hafey doesn’t want his team to be fooled.
“They are a well-coached team,” he said. “We can’t be sloppy if we want to win.”
It may have taken most of the season, but Hafey said his team has finally established an identity on offense.
He said they will continue to be a possession team by lining up mostly in the “Thunder” formation. Thunder includes three players in the backfield — Hodge Raftopoulos, Dario Georgiou and Gage Spears, who spent a majority of their football careers on the offensive or defensive line.
“We established that we are a tough, grind-it-out team on offense,” Hafey said. “It’s not fancy, but our guys have come together with it.”
On the defensive side, the Bulldogs’ identity involves braces and crutches.
The Bulldogs will be without six players who were starters the first game of the season because of injuries. Several of those injuries were season ending.
“Kids filled in well in the Rifle game,” Hafey said. “We gave up the one big run early, but settled in.”
The defense will have to knock some heads tonight if they are to compete with Eagle Valley, Hafey said.
“They are a physical team,” he said. “We have to win in the trenches.”
Eagle Valley joined the 3A WSL in Hafey’s second year of coaching. Since then, the two teams have not played in too many nail biters.
Moffat County is 5-2 in the series and the average point spread for the winner of each game has been 28 points.
“I don’t expect either team to get a blowout, this time,” Hafey said. “I think it will come down to who executes in the fourth quarter.”
The game begins at 7 p.m. at Eagle Valley High School in Gypsum.