Box score from the Moffat County High School varsity football game Friday against Battle Mountain High School at MCHS:
(Team — 1st — 2nd — 3rd — 4th — final)
• Moffat County — 0 — 0 — 7 — 6 — 13
• Battle Mountain — 7 — 7 — 7 — 7 — 28
• Battle Mountain — Reeve Sanders 5-yard touchdown run — 7-0
• Battle Mountain — Blaize Olle 10-yard touchdown run — 14-0
• Moffat County — Miguel Molina 31-yard interception return — 14-7
• Battle Mountain — Chris Libertini 21-yard touchdown run — 21-7
• Moffat County — Michael Samuelson 4-yard touchdown run/Jonathan Pando missed extra point — 21-13
• Battle Mountain — Blaize Olle 3-yard touchdown run — 28-13
As the game clock ticked down toward half time Friday at the Bulldog Proving Grounds, the Moffat County High School varsity football team looked to punch the ball into the end zone.
However, the Bulldogs first trip into the red zone resulted in a fourth-down stop by Battle Mountain High School inside the Huskies 1-yard line.
The inability to finish drives stifled the Bulldogs’ offense on the night, and Battle Mountain went on to defeat MCHS, 28-13.
“In the beginning, we weren’t mixing things up,” senior Miguel Molina said. “(Battle Mountain) was ready for a lot of our plays, and in the red zone, they targeted Michael (Samuelson) and stopped him from getting in.
“When we start mixing things up, that is when we can finish things.”
Battle Mountain, 6-1 overall and 3-1 in Western Slope League play, scored on the game’s opening drive when senior Reeve Sanders pounded the ball in from 5 yards out.
The Bulldogs’ (1-6 overall, 1-3 WSL) first two drives were ended on failed fourth-down attempts in Battle Mountain territory.
With just under six minutes left in the second quarter, the Huskies’ Blaize Olle scored on a 10-yard run.
Heading into the game, Molina said the Bulldogs’ defense was concerned about containing the edge, as the Huskies have had success running outside this season.
“I think our defense did a great job pushing their runners inside,” he said. “We stopped them numerous times when they tried to run it out and forced them to have to run up the middle.”
The Bulldogs opened the second half with the ball, but on their first drive junior quarterback Bubba Ivers exited the game with an injury to his right throwing shoulder.
Ivers would return later in the game.
Sophomore Brayden Peterson replaced Ivers for the drive and got the Bulldogs into the red zone, but threw an interception on a second and goal from the 12-yard line.
But, MCHS got on the board for the first time in the night when Battle Mountain quarterback Jake Engle threw an interception to Molina on the ensuing drive.
Molina caught the ball on the Huskies’ 31-yard line, followed his blockers down the sideline and jumped across the pylon.
“In my three years of playing varsity football, that was my first pick-six,” Molina said. “(Lance) Scranton made a good call moving us into cover 3, and we just had perfect positioning and then I had perfect blocking to get to the end zone.”
Battle Mountain scored on their next drive, a 21-yard touchdown run by Chris Libertini, but MCHS junior Michael Samuelson pulled the Bulldogs within 8 on a 4-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter.
The Huskies, however, ran almost 5 minutes off the clock on their next drive, which ended in a 3-yard touchdown run by Olle and put the score at 28-13.
Battle Mountain was ranked No. 9 in the most recent Denver Post prep rankings coming into Friday’s game.
Despite the loss, Molina said the Bulldogs handled their ranked opponent well.
“We did great and we stood up to a ranked team and almost came back,” he said. “They had size and speed on us. We haven’t won as many games as we wanted to this year, but we never back down.”
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