Friday night matchup...
Moffat County High School (2-2, 1-2 WSL) at Eagle Valley High School (3-1, 1-1)
Last meeting: In 2011, Moffat Count won, 52-28 at the Bulldog Proving Grounds
Last week: Moffat County lost to Delta, 21-14 and Eagle Valley beat Arvada, 68-14.
If there is a time in every season to put up or shut up, this is it for Moffat County football.
The Bulldogs, coming off a disappointing home loss to Delta in which they did not play their best football, travel to Eagle Valley today to take on a 3-1 Devils squad in another key Western Slope League clash.
For Moffat County (2-2, 1-2 WSL), the game represents a chance to get back on track and keep their playoff aspirations intact.
Last season Frederick High School was the final seed in the Colorado 3A State Playoffs, finishing the regular season with a 7-3 record. That means a loss to Eagle Valley would be crippling to Moffat County’s chances this year.
The Devils and Bulldogs run contrasting styles, but have produced similar results so far. Both teams have played Steamboat Springs and Delta in the first four games of the season, with comparable final scores.
Eagle Valley beat Steamboat Springs 35-21 and lost to Delta 25-21, while MCHS beat the Sailors 59-27 and lost last week to Delta, 21-14.
Head coach Kip Hafey said he thinks it will make for a good game.
“I think it’s a good matchup,” Hafey said. “We've got to be really tough on defense shutting down that double wing. We’ve got to get some three and outs and get them off the field.”
The Devils run a double wing, offense, with two wingbacks set wide and slightly behind the line, meaning they can get creative with their running game.
“They do lots of counters and misdirections,” Hafey said. “They’re going to pull their guards and tackles and try to trick you. It’s power football, but they’ll try to trick you and overload one side. They want to pound the football, eat up clock and score on you that way.”
But when it’s all said and done, the Moffat County defense has been it’s better half in its first four games. The defense will need to be strong again, but the offense will have to hold up its end of the bargain as well.
“Our offense has to sustain some drives this week, and the way they’ll do that is not turning over the ball,” Hafey said.
Turnovers were the Bulldogs’ undoing a week ago, when they gave it back to Delta six times. Hafey and the coaches addressed that this week by working on their “mesh” between ball carriers.
“With the quarterbacks and the running backs, we worked a lot on the timing of the handoff between those guys on the read option,” Hafey said. “Knowing whether or not you’re getting it, getting your six points of contact on the ball and making sure you’re strong with it.”
A win could get the Bulldogs back on track heading into Homecoming week.
“Every game is huge, and this would be a really big one,” Hafey said. “Eagle Valley is 3-1, so this could put us right back into the hunt.”
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow the game for updates on Twitter at @CDP_Sports.