Zach Beauchamp (57) and Ryder Seely (left), rush the passer and drop into coverage against Glenwood Springs at the Bulldog Proving Grounds. Both seniors and the rest of the Moffat County defense will need to be at their best to stop a high-powered Palisade offense tonight in Palisade.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

Zach Beauchamp (57) and Ryder Seely (left), rush the passer and drop into coverage against Glenwood Springs at the Bulldog Proving Grounds. Both seniors and the rest of the Moffat County defense will need to be at their best to stop a high-powered Palisade offense tonight in Palisade.

Football prepped for battle of the Bulldogs

Playoff standings...

Teams between Moffat County High School and the playoffs in terms of wildcard points:

(Last updated by CHSAA Oct. 29)

  1. Moffat County 66.444
  2. Pueblo County 67.000
  3. Skyline 67.889
  4. Lewis-Palmer 68.333
  5. Pueblo Central 69.556
  6. Fort Morgan 69.667
  7. D’Evelyn 70.100
  8. Erie 70.667
  9. Roosevelt 71.222

It’s all going on the line Friday in Palisade.

The Moffat County football team will make its last push for a playoff spot when it travels for an 8 p.m. game in Palisade to take on the other Bulldogs in the Western Slope League.

Moffat County (5-4, 3-4 WSL) sit in 24th place in the most recent Colorado High School Activities Association wildcard points standings. They would need to make the top 16 in order to make the state playoffs.

A win over Palisade (7-2, 5-2, fourth in wildcard points) would go a long way to making up that ground. Moffat would likely need some of its close competitors to lose for a better shot at the playoffs, but Kip Hafey and the team are focusing on what they can control.

“We have to win to have a chance of getting in,” Hafey said. “We’re right on the cusp. The kids know and we’ve talked to them about it. Hopefully this year with the win, it’ll put us in.”

That will be no easy task. In its seven wins, Palisade’s average margin of victory is over 35 points. But the Bulldogs have also looked vulnerable at times, being thumped by Rifle and losing a close game to Delta, much like Moffat County did early in the season.

“We have to execute,” Hafey said. “We need to create some turnovers and we need to take some risks to try and get something going. We know we’re the underdog but we know we’ve got nothing to lose. We’re going to lay it on the line and try to get a big win.”

Whatever version of Palisade is playing Friday night, Hafey knows it will be a physical game.

“Week in and week out our league is the most physical,” he said. “With us and Palisade I think you have two of the most physical teams in the league. There’s going to be some big hits.”

Palisade and Moffat County sit in stark contrast as far as size is concerned. Moffat is the smallest team in Class 3A football this season, while Palisade is among the largest.

That has prompted Hafey and the coaching staff to adopt a mantra for the Bulldogs that “dynamite comes in small packages.”

He hopes it will inspire the team to deliver in its final regular season game.

“We know what’s at stake,” Hafey said. “We want to go out with a bang and do everything we can to get that last spot in the playoffs.”

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com. Follow Craig Daily Press sports coverage on Twitter at @CDP_Sports.

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