Bulldogs host Eagle Valley in home finale | CraigDailyPress.com

Bulldogs host Eagle Valley in home finale

Joshua Gordon

The Moffat County High School varsity football team looks to send its seniors out with a bang in the Bulldogs final home game of the season Friday against Eagle Valley High School. Junior quarterback Bubba Ivers, pictured above, returns after sitting out last week, but MCHS will be without senior running back and middle linebacker Mason Updike.

On Senior Night at the Bulldog Proving Grounds, the Moffat County High School varsity football team may get the break it has been looking for.

After eight weeks of playing teams that were ranked or had been ranked in the top 10 at one point in the season, the Bulldogs host Eagle Valley High School at 7 p.m. Friday.

The Devils are 1-6 overall and 1-4 in Western Slope League play.

"Our schedule has been second to none, but our players have played tough every game," head coach Kip Hafey said. "Every week, we are missing someone because of an injury, but we have hung in there with some tough opponents and the guys have really played through adversity."

Last week in Rifle, the Bulldogs (1-7 overall, 1-4 WSL) were without junior quarterback Bubba Ivers, who sat out because of a shoulder injury he suffered against Battle Mountain High School on Oct. 14.

This week, MCHS will have Ivers back under center, but will be without senior running back and middle linebacker Mason Updike, who was injured against Rifle.

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"Bubba brings another weapon for our offense because he is so fast," Hafey said. "He puts pressure on the edge for defenses and opens his teammates up. Mason, however, is like the quarterback for the defense, so we will have to have people step up to fill in."

Against the Devils' offense, Hafey said his defensive line is going to need to have a big game.

Eagle Valley runs a double-wing formation, a triple-I formation and spreads formations out when need be, Hafey said.

"We've seen (Eagle Valley) throw it 15 to 20 times a game, but they can also run it, so they have a lot of pretty different facets they can use," he said. "Our defensive line needs to keep their offensive line off our linebackers so they are able to make tackles.

"We have to win in the trenches because if they can get yards up the middle, they will do it all night."

In the past two games against Rifle and Battle Mountain, the Bulldogs have only scored one offensive touchdown, including an 88-yard total offensive performance against the Bears.

With Updike out, Hafey said the offense would spread the ball out more with four players rotating in at the running back positions — senior Wes Chapman and juniors Michael Samuelson, Garrett Stewart and Jacob Teeter.

"If we can spread the ball out, we can create lanes for our backfield and hopefully be successful," he said. "With Mason out, Wes will move into his position and we can spread it out more by having Garrett and Teeter in the slot or flanker position.

"We are averaging about 300 yards of total offense a game, we just need to be able to score when we are in the red zone."

Last week, Teeter scored the only touchdown for the Bulldogs on a 96-yard kickoff return.

Hafey said the special teams units have consistently improved throughout the season.

"We have some young kids who stay healthy and we have some good seniors and juniors with leadership that have helped us to continually improve," Hafey said of the Bulldogs' special teams. "If we can get good kickoff and punt returns, it gives us good field position and sets us up to score points."

After a grueling schedule, the Bulldogs close out against Eagle Valley on Friday and at Steamboat Springs next week. The Sailors have yet to win this season.

With the seniors being honored in the team's final home game of the season, Hafey said two wins to end the year would be great.

"We want to honor our seniors and the career they have had on the field and the time they spent with their friends," he said. "If we can go out with two wins, it would be huge for our seniors and be big for next season."

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Watch the Bulldogs

Watch the Moffat County High School Bulldogs battle the Eagle Valley High School Devils live at 7 p.m. Friday at http://www.craigdailypress.com.

If you go…

What: Moffat County High School varsity football game vs. Eagle Valley High School

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: MCHS, 900 Finley Lane

— Admission is $5 for adults and $4 for students and senior citizens. The MCHS Student Council and FFA are kicking off a food drive, so any can good brought for donation is good for $1 off admission.

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