Bulldogs face tough task in Rifle
For the Moffat County High School football team, Friday’s game has been highlighted on the calendar since the beginning of two-a-days. For Rifle High School, it is just another Western Slope Conference game in which they play the role of Goliath trying to fend off another wannabe David.
“The kids have been looking forward to this game for a while,” said MCHS head coach Kip Hafey about his Bulldogs who face the top ranked 3A team in the state at 7 p.m. today at Rifle. “They know that they’ve got to go and play their hardest to have a chance.”
Rifle has earned its top-ranked status by running over the competition senior tailback Tony Weiss leads the state with 1,076 yards and the Bears average 37 points per game and holding the opposing offenses to 12.2 points per game.
“They’re a well-balanced team,” Hafey said. “They’ve got everything it takes to be successful size, speed and strength.”
So how does Hafey think his team will be able to compete?
“We’re coming into the game prepared just like our last three wins,” he said. “It’s going to have to be a game with very few mistakes and that we seize our opportunities.”
The Bulldogs are going into the game with a factor they haven’t had to worry about much this season injuries.
Senior running backs Joe Padon and Eric Bastow are not at full strength. Padon has a swollen ankle and Bastow is on antibiotics for strep throat. Additionally, sophomore fullback Kellan Moore is nursing a sore shoulder.
“We’ll all tough it out,” Bastow said. “We’ve got to against the top-ranked team in the state.”
If either Bastow or Padon is unable to go, Hafey said sophomores Daniel Tague and Caleb Keadle will fill in.
“Tague and Keadle will step up to the challenge if they need to,” Hafey said.
Hafey said he thought MCHS matched up well against the Bears with its team speed.
“I think there are a couple of places where we have an advantage,” he said. “They are a team we can play well against if we show up.”
After three wins in a row, Hafey said he thinks the timing for the showdown is near perfect.
“We’ve got a lot of momentum going into the game,” he said. “Like always, we’ll give it everything we’ve got and go after the win.”
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