The tentative 2011 Moffat County High School varsity football schedule:
(Date — opponent/2010 record — 2010 result)
• Aug. 26 — @ Evergreen (8-3) — 26-22L
• Sept. 2 — Aspen (9-3) — 46-13L
• Sept. 17 — @ John F. Kennedy (6-4) — 27-20W
• Sept. 23 — *Delta (5-5, 3-4) — 26-7W
• Oct. 1 — *@ Palisade (9-2, 6-1) — 36-6L
• Oct. 7 — *Glenwood Springs (10-1, 7-0) — 35-7L
• Oct. 14 — *Battle Mountain (3-7, 2-5) — 40-34W
• Oct. 21 — *@ Rifle (6-4, 4-3) — 21-18W
• Oct. 28 — *Eagle Valley (2-7, 1-6) — 34-14W
• Nov. 4 — *@ Steamboat Springs (0-10, 0-7) — 42-8W
- Western Slope League game
The Moffat County High School varsity football team didn’t let a 2-2 start derail the 2010 season, with the Bulldogs rallying off four consecutive wins to finish the campaign.
MCHS ended 6-4 overall and 5-2 in the Western Slope League.
However, the Bulldogs narrowly missed the 3A state playoffs for the second year in a row.
With the release of the 2011 schedule, Lance Scranton, the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator, said more emphasis would be put on the three non-conference games.
“The staff talked and the first three preseason games are very important,” he said. “To make the top 18 and make the playoffs, we think we need to win at least two out of the three.”
Athletic director Jeff Simon said the schedule would not be official until Aug. 1, but he doesn’t foresee any changes being made.
The Bulldogs will open Aug. 26 at Evergreen High School, a game the team lost 26-22 at home last season.
Aspen High School will come Sept. 2 to MCHS before the Bulldogs travel Sept. 17 to John F. Kennedy.
The team couldn’t overcome Aspen’s running game last year, falling 46-13, but got the first win of the season against John F. Kennedy, 27-20.
While all three games remain the same, the venue has changed this year. Scranton said the staff hopes home-field advantage can help against Aspen.
“When we play home, we have more time for preparation as a team because we don’t have to leave and deal with unknown things that arise when we travel,” he said. “I don’t think playing-wise it matters to the kids, but they do enjoy the bigger home crowds we have.”
The Bulldogs will open league play Sept. 23 at home against Delta High School, travel Oct. 1 to face Palisade High School and come back home Oct. 7 to play Glenwood Springs High School.
Glenwood went undefeated in the league last season, forcing four turnovers against the Bulldogs while Palisade’s quarterback racked up 237 total yards on MCHS.
“The Western Slope is a tough league and you have to be ready for anything,” Scranton said. “We know who the top teams will be, but we have to be on our toes every game in our league.”
MCHS will close out the season with the same four opponents as last year — Oct. 14 at home against Battle Mountain High School; Oct. 21 at Rifle High School; Oct. 28 at home against Eagle Valley High School; and Nov. 4 at Steamboat Springs High School.
The Bulldogs won back-to-back overtime games last year against Battle Mountain and Rifle.
Scranton said a combination of offense and defense led to those victories.
“Coach (Kip) Hafey puts confidence in our offense and then I have the guys go out and play good defense,” he said. “They feed off each other and they both played well against Battle Mountain and Rifle.”
While the Palisade and Steamboat games stick out immediately, Scranton said, the team is excited to bring a different component to the table every week this year — experience.
“I think the biggest determining factor is the fact that we have a whole bunch more experience,” he said. “We may still look young on paper, but as far as playing time is concerned, we have a lot of returning sophomores who are now juniors.
“It is going to be a lot of fun this year.”
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