Moffat County faces similar gridiron foe tonight in Palisade | CraigDailyPress.com

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Moffat County faces similar gridiron foe tonight in Palisade

Palisade at a glance

Palisade High School football team at a glance:

Record: 2-2 (2-0 in WSL)

Coach: John Arledge

Returning starters: 12 (seven on offense, five on defense)

Coach’s keys to victory:

• Stop the running game. Palisade needs to limit Moffat County’s backs.

• Limit turnovers. The team can’t afford to give Moffat County any extra chances.

• Capitalize. If Palisade can recover a turnover, it needs to make the most of the extra opportunity.

MCHS at a glance

Moffat County High School football team at a glance:

Record: 3-0 (2-0 in WSL)

Coach: Kip Hafey

Coach’s keys to victory:

• Control the line of scrimmage. On defense, the linemen need to keep the offensive line away from the linebackers. On offense, the line needs to establish the running game.

• Create turnovers. Moffat County needs to have more chances to score while keeping Palisade’s offense off the field.

Starters

Offensive starters:

QB Matt Linsacum

WB Braeden Sullivan

HB Pablo Salcido*

FB Nathan Tomlin

WR Scott Mann

TE Brady Conner

LT Halen Raymond

LG Nick Bulla

C Garrett Spears

RG Travis Nolan

RT Cody Adams

* Salcido is a game-time decision. If he is unable to play, Tomlin will start at halfback and Mason Updike will start at fullback.

Defensive starters:

NG Travis Nolan

LT Casey Martin

RT Jeremiah Gordon

LB Nate Tomlin

LB Todd Stewart

LB CJ Walt

LB Brian Ivy

LB Jordan Wilson

S Matt Linsacum

CB Aaron Nielson

CB Scott Mann

Palisade at a glance

Palisade High School football team at a glance:

Record: 2-2 (2-0 in WSL)

Coach: John Arledge

Returning starters: 12 (seven on offense, five on defense)

Coach’s keys to victory:

• Stop the running game. Palisade needs to limit Moffat County’s backs.

• Limit turnovers. The team can’t afford to give Moffat County any extra chances.

• Capitalize. If Palisade can recover a turnover, it needs to make the most of the extra opportunity.

MCHS at a glance

Moffat County High School football team at a glance:

Record: 3-0 (2-0 in WSL)

Coach: Kip Hafey

Coach’s keys to victory:

• Control the line of scrimmage. On defense, the linemen need to keep the offensive line away from the linebackers. On offense, the line needs to establish the running game.

• Create turnovers. Moffat County needs to have more chances to score while keeping Palisade’s offense off the field.

When Moffat County High School and Palisade High School face off at 7 p.m. today in Palisade it will be a battle of the Western Slope League’s Bulldogs.

Palisade head coach John Arledge said the two teams share more than just a mascot, however.

“We both run the ball; both teams tend to be physical,” he said. “I think Moffat County is well-coached. They have a great staff up there and really good kids who are playing tough and doing well.”

Kip Hafey, MCHS head coach, said the attitudes on both teams is similar.

“We’re both run-heavy and aggressive,” he said. “We have defenses that are going to go after you.”

One similarity should come to end today, however.

“We’re both 2-0 in league play,” Hafey said.

On offense

Against Battle Mountain, Moffat County was able to change the pace by using multiple backs.

When power running was needed, Braeden Sullivan, Nathan Tomlin and Mason Updike delivered.

When speed was key, Jasen Kettle was there to answer.

Kettle will not play against Palisade, as he sustained an injury against the Huskies and half-back/fullback Pablo Salcido is a game time decision.

Like Palisade, Moffat County’s offense works because there are several players to carry the ball.

“We both have multiple backs,” Hafey said. “We don’t have one featured back. The guy who carries the ball the most changes from week to week.”

To get the offense rolling, the linemen need to again dominate the line of scrimmage, like they were able to do against Battle Mountain.

“They’re really tough up front,” Hafey said. “We need to control the line of scrimmage.”

Palisade runs a 4-2-5 defensive scheme, so it can utilize its greatest strength – linemen.

“We need to stop the running game,” Arledge said. “They’ve got a good running game, and they don’t make mistakes.”

On defense

Palisade is able to move the ball behind a large offensive line and junior running back Sean Dunn.

Although Palisade wants to stay on the ground, a pair of seniors give Palisade options in the air.

Quarterback Jordan Salazar and wide receiver Kelly Davis are two talented players that Arledge could call upon.

Most importantly, Palisade cannot squander any scoring opportunities, Arledge said.

“We can’t make mistakes; we can’t turn the ball over,” he said. “But when we get a break, we have to take advantage.”

Palisade runs a split back offensive scheme, which means, like Moffat County, knowing who is getting the ball could be difficult.

Again, Moffat County will need to contain large linemen to get an advantage.

“If we can create pressure up front and stand our ground, it will keep the linemen off our linebackers,” Hafey said.

If the linebackers can get free, the Bulldogs in blue should be able to wreak havoc for the fourth straight week.

That’s why Palisade will stick to what both teams do well – running the football.

“This game will come down to who gets the biggest break,” Arledge said. “If we don’t turn the ball over, we’ll be in good shape.”

Ben Bulkeley can be reached at 875-1795 or bbulkeley@craigdailypress.com.