Moffat County High School varsity football box score:
(Team, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, Final)
MCHS, 0, 0, 20, 0, 20
Palisade, 14, 10, 0, 14, 38
— The loss leaves MCHS with a 1-4 record overall and 1-1 in the Western Slope League.
After their first win of the season in their most recent game, coach Kip Hafey and the Moffat County High School varsity football team were ready to gain another victory in their effort to reach the playoffs.
But, a road game against Palisade proved to be too much for the Bulldogs.
MCHS lost 38-20 in a Saturday afternoon game. Moffat County’s defeat puts its overall record at 1-4, 1-1 in the Western Slope League.
Hafey said the team had a lot to work against, with five starters on the injured list going into the game.
“We even had a couple guys playing with injuries,” he said. “(Juniors) Tyler Hildebrandt and Josh Pritchard were playing through the pain.”
Undefeated Palisade (5-0 overall, 2-0 WSL) took charge immediately, scoring early in the game. The tally went up to 14-0 minutes later, as the maroon Bulldogs took advantage of a bobbled catch to slam it back into the end zone.
Moffat County didn’t fare much better in the second quarter, as Palisade added a field goal and a third touchdown, bringing the score to 24-0 at halftime.
Hafey emphasized stronger defense to his players at the half.
“I really wanted them to start working on their blocking,” he said.
The message sunk in, as the tide turned in favor of MCHS at the start of the second half.
The Bulldogs’ first possession of the third quarter resulted in a quick score, as senior Miguel Molina snagged a pass to bring the score to 24-6.
Seconds later, Moffat County was back on offense after recovering a fumbled kickoff return two yards from the goal line. One touchdown by junior Michael Samuelson and a two-point conversion later, Palisade’s lead was down to 24-14.
Junior Bubba Ivers finished out the third quarter with his own TD, but Palisade took control back in the fourth, forcing turnovers and dominating the Bulldogs on both offense and defense.
Ivers in particular took a pounding at quarterback.
“They really put a lot of pressure on him,” Hafey said. “He still got off a lot of good passes and good running.”
Ivers led the team in yardage for the game, with 174 passing and 121 rushing yards. Like the rest of the team, he pitched in to fill empty spots by playing multiple positions, including running back and punter.
“We faced a lot of adversity out there, and these kids showed a lot of heart, especially with the number of injuries we had,” Hafey said. “It was a total team effort.
“Playing against a team like this, they could have been intimidated going in and gone in expecting to lose 50-0, but they weren’t. We brought it down to the fourth quarter and gave them a run for their money.”
The Bulldogs face Glenwood Springs Friday night at home.
Hafey said the team will work on tightening their passing routes, strengthening the line and improving tackling.
“We’re going to keep getting better at the fundamentals,” he said. “These kids believe in the system, and it hasn’t been easy with all these injuries. But, these guys honor each other and make it work.”
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