Aspen game next step to league title for Moffat County football | CraigDailyPress.com

Aspen game next step to league title for Moffat County football

Bulldogs hope for return to playoffs in season's final weeks

The Moffat County High School varsity football team takes the field in New Castle, ready for their game against the Coal Ridge Titans. The Bulldogs remain undefeated in the 2A Western Slope North League and look to continue the streak Friday against Aspen and Oct. 30 with Roaring Fork, both of which are home games. The team could clinch a playoff berth this week if they win against the Skiers and Roaring Fork and Basalt both lose their games.

A win this week won't be a 100 percent guarantee that Moffat County High SchoolMoffat County High School football moves on to the postseason, but it will make it that much harder for anyone to challenge them. football moves on to the postseason, but it will make it that much harder for anyone to challenge them.

Moffat County High School football moves on to the postseason, but it will make it that much harder for anyone to challenge them.

If you go

Moffat County High School varsity vs. Aspen

7 p.m. Friday

MCHS Bulldog Proving Grounds, 900 Finley Lane

— Among the special features for the game are players wearing pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and a Fifth Quarter following hosted by Bear River Young Life, with a party at Thunder Rolls Bowling Center for middle-schoolers and dodgeball in the MCHS gym for high school students provided by Young Life and Grand Futures Prevention Coalition.

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2015 CHSAA Wild Card Points — Week 7 results

The 16-team 2A playoff brackets are determined by wild card points based on games lost and games won — and the difficulty of opponents — throughout the season. The following are the current rankings, with some teams already a certainty and others hoping to move up.

Rank, Team — Season record, Wild Card Points

  1. Bayfield — 6-0, 78.5
  2. Platte Valley — 6-1, 73
  3. Kent Denver — 7-0, 72.143
  4. Alameda — 7-0, 71.286
  5. La Junta — 7-0, 70.429
  6. Sterling — 6-1, 69.429
  7. Brush — 5-2, 65.714
  8. Moffat County — 5-2, 64.571
  9. Strasburg — 5-2, 61.143
  10. Bennett — 5-2, 60.571
  11. Eaton — 4-3, 59.429
  12. The Academy — 5-2, 57.571
  13. Faith Christian — 4-3, 56
  14. Olathe — 4-3, 53.857
  15. Lamar — 4-3, 53.571
  16. Gunnison — 3-4, 52.714
  17. Valley — 3-4, 52.571
  18. Alamosa — 3-4, 51.857
  19. Ridge View Academy — 3-4, 51.429
  20. Florence — 2-5, 50

— Moffat County is the only member of the Western Slope North League in the top 20, with Basalt in 23rd, Roaring Fork at 27th and Coal Ridge 31st, all 3-4 overall. 2-5 Aspen ranks 32nd, while Battle Mountain is not included in the 2A rankings.

Kickoff is 7 p.m. Friday at MCHS, as the Bulldogs host Aspen this week for a game that could send them to the playoffs for the second year in a row and, if all conditions are met, clinch the title in the 2A Western Slope North League2A Western Slope North League..

2A Western Slope North League.

At 5-2 overall and 3-0 in the conference, MCHS reached a new echelon this week as multiple outlets took notice of the stretch of victories that have made them the leaders of the league, most recently 39-12 against Coal Ridge39-12 against Coal Ridge. Sunday saw the . Sunday saw the MaxPreps Freeman Rankings put the Craig team at No. 9 in 2A footballMaxPreps Freeman Rankings put the Craig team at No. 9 in 2A football, and Tuesday’s release of , and Tuesday's release of Wild Card Points by Colorado State High School Activities AssociationWild Card Points by Colorado State High School Activities Association — which determine playoff fields across the state — left the Dogs standing in eighth place as the race heats up by the week. — which determine playoff fields across the state — left the Dogs standing in eighth place as the race heats up by the week.

39-12 against Coal Ridge. Sunday saw the MaxPreps Freeman Rankings put the Craig team at No. 9 in 2A football, and Tuesday's release of Wild Card Points by Colorado State High School Activities Association — which determine playoff fields across the state — left the Dogs standing in eighth place as the race heats up by the week.

High in the rankings are Bayfield and Kent Denver — both undefeated and already locked into the second season — and La Junta and Alameda, each 7-0.

Game scores are irrelevant in the formula that's all about W's and L's. Teams are awarded wild card points with each game, win or lose, with a defeat to a school with a perfect record worth almost as much as a triumph over a team that has lost every week. For instance, a Moffat County win against Aspen would give the Bulldogs 69 points in the standings, whereas the Skiers would take 78 if they beat a 2A team with five wins so far this year, such as MCHS.

Points also vary for games out of the division, worth less for 1A teams and more for 3A. Points are then divided by the total number of games a team has played for the end result.

The top team in each league will be assured a spot in the playoff brackets, as well as a home game for the first round as per CHSAA rulesCHSAA rules. Should Moffat County win and Basalt and Roaring Fork both lose Friday night, the die is all but cast for the Dogs to host in November.. Should Moffat County win and Basalt and Roaring Fork both lose Friday night, the die is all but cast for the Dogs to host in November.

CHSAA rules. Should Moffat County win and Basalt and Roaring Fork both lose Friday night, the die is all but cast for the Dogs to host in November.

Western Slope North is the only 2A league not to grant the top two teams playoff berths, and the 1-2 Rams need to trump the Coal Ridge Titans to keep their chances alive for a wild card position. Roaring Fork may still have a shot at the WSNL title when they play Oct. 30 at the Bulldog Proving Grounds, but only if the Dogs suffer a loss this week, the same prerequisite needed for the 2-1 Longhorns to make a run for the championship, coupled with their own win against Battle Mountain.

First things first — though Aspen has a record that's the complete inverse of Moffat County's at 2-5 and 0-3, their statistics show a respectable rushing offense, averaging 182 yards per game, with defense getting 64 tackles per game.

"They're a team that when they want to run the ball well they can, and we've got to stop that," MCHS head coach Keith Gille said of the upcoming opponent.

Aspen senior Nik Morgan has 495 yards so far on 98 carries with seven touchdowns, while sophomore quarterback RJ Peshek has 294 passing yards with one TD reception by Nick Goralka, running in two himself. Jake Ferlisi also has two scores to his credit, while Rennie Tucker-Meuse and Cooper Johnson each have one TD.

In contrast, Bulldog QB Keenan Hildebrandt has 10 total touchdowns, eight rushing and two from passes to Kearn Gerber and Dylan Kincade. Brett Loyd follows with six running TDs and Eddie Smercina with five, Shandon Hadley three and Dominic Pascetti one.

Likewise, hard hitters like Hugo Hernandez, Stelios Peroulis, John T Peroulis, Kaden Hafey, Mikinzie Klimper, Brady Springer, Frankie Masterson and more are putting the pressure on every quarterback to come up against them since starting league play this month, allowing 26 points, while the Dogs' points scored is at 101 just in WSNL games.

In terms of points scored to points allowed, Apsen's last three games have totaled 56-137.

The Skiers have been going downhill on a five-game cold streak after starting 2-0 against Montezuma-Cortez and Grand Valley. A close 7-6 loss to Steamboat Springs was followed by a goose egg in Cedaredge, 35-0, leading to defeats at the hands of league opponents Roaring Fork and Coal Ridge, most recently falling, 54-6, to Battle Mountain.

While Aspen — reeling from the recent suspension and resignation of head coach Ryan Triecereeling from the recent suspension and resignation of head coach Ryan Triece, as well as player injuries and other liabilities — may not have any hope of moving to the playoffs, underestimating the Skiers’ will to fight back would be a slippery slope, said coaches Jeff Sullivan and Jeff Wert., as well as player injuries and other liabilities — may not have any hope of moving to the playoffs, underestimating the Skiers' will to fight back would be a slippery slope, said coaches Jeff Sullivan and Jeff Wert.

reeling from the recent suspension and resignation of head coach Ryan Triece, as well as player injuries and other liabilities — may not have any hope of moving to the playoffs, underestimating the Skiers' will to fight back would be a slippery slope, said coaches Jeff Sullivan and Jeff Wert.

"That's on paper," Sullivan said of Aspen's record. "Anything can happen here."

The Bulldogs have worked on special teams this week to make sure kick returns and extra points aren't their undoing going forward. Another component is a supportive crowd, and Wert wants the stands filled to capacity like the recent Homecoming game.

"Hopefully we see that because it helps us out a lot," he said.

Head coach Keith Gille said players don't see Aspen as an 0-3 team. On the contrary, they see the Skiers as a squad that needs a little payback.

"We got manhandled last year, and Aspen was the better team that night," he said.

It was the town named for a tree that upended the Dogs, 34-14, last yearupended the Dogs, 34-14, last year in the penultimate game of the regular season only to have their own playoff dreams shut down with a loss to Basalt the following week, thus stamping MCHS’s postseason passport. in the penultimate game of the regular season only to have their own playoff dreams shut down with a loss to Basalt the following week, thus stamping MCHS's postseason passport.

upended the Dogs, 34-14, last year in the penultimate game of the regular season only to have their own playoff dreams shut down with a loss to Basalt the following week, thus stamping MCHS's postseason passport.

Still, the loss helped put the Dogs up against eventual state champions Brush for a first-round massacreput the Dogs up against eventual state champions Brush for a first-round massacre, and the team isn’t so quick to forgive the WSNL foes that doomed them to last place as the only 4-5 school in the playoff brackets., and the team isn't so quick to forgive the WSNL foes that doomed them to last place as the only 4-5 school in the playoff brackets.

put the Dogs up against eventual state champions Brush for a first-round massacre, and the team isn't so quick to forgive the WSNL foes that doomed them to last place as the only 4-5 school in the playoff brackets.

"They remember, I guarantee that, this will be a special game for our seniors," Gille said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.

If you go

Moffat County High School varsity vs. Aspen

7 p.m. Friday

MCHS Bulldog Proving Grounds, 900 Finley Lane

— Among the special features for the game are players wearing pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and a Fifth Quarter following hosted by Bear River Young Life, with a party at Thunder Rolls Bowling Center for middle-schoolers and dodgeball in the MCHS gym for high school students provided by Young Life and Grand Futures Prevention Coalition.

2015 CHSAA Wild Card Points — Week 7 results

The 16-team 2A playoff brackets are determined by wild card points based on games lost and games won — and the difficulty of opponents — throughout the season. The following are the current rankings, with some teams already a certainty and others hoping to move up.

Rank, Team — Season record, Wild Card Points

  1. Bayfield — 6-0, 78.5
  2. Platte Valley — 6-1, 73
  3. Kent Denver — 7-0, 72.143
  4. Alameda — 7-0, 71.286
  5. La Junta — 7-0, 70.429
  6. Sterling — 6-1, 69.429
  7. Brush — 5-2, 65.714
  8. Moffat County — 5-2, 64.571
  9. Strasburg — 5-2, 61.143
  10. Bennett — 5-2, 60.571
  11. Eaton — 4-3, 59.429
  12. The Academy — 5-2, 57.571
  13. Faith Christian — 4-3, 56
  14. Olathe — 4-3, 53.857
  15. Lamar — 4-3, 53.571
  16. Gunnison — 3-4, 52.714
  17. Valley — 3-4, 52.571
  18. Alamosa — 3-4, 51.857
  19. Ridge View Academy — 3-4, 51.429
  20. Florence — 2-5, 50

— Moffat County is the only member of the Western Slope North League in the top 20, with Basalt in 23rd, Roaring Fork at 27th and Coal Ridge 31st, all 3-4 overall. 2-5 Aspen ranks 32nd, while Battle Mountain is not included in the 2A rankings.

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