Bulldogs lose season finale | CraigDailyPress.com

Bulldogs lose season finale

Rifle football shuts down Moffat County High School, 28-6

John Vandelinder

— The Moffat County football team visited Rifle on Friday for a match up of teams heading in different directions.

The Bulldogs (3-7 overall, 2-6 Western Slope League) were playing their last game of the season, looking for a victory to send their seniors out in style.

Rifle (6-4, 5-3 WSL) was attempting to lock up the fourth spot in the league, which would earn them a spot in the postseason.

It is only natural that something would have to give.

It was the Bulldogs.

Rifle shut down Moffat County 28-6, sending the Bulldogs to their seventh loss in their last eight games, to finish the season.

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“We fought through a season’s worth of adversity and the kids stood tall,” Bulldog coach Kip Hafey said. “We never gave up on the year. I’m really proud of these men.”

The Bulldogs applied the defensive pressure to the Bears from the outset, holding the game scoreless after the first quarter.

It didn’t last long.

The Bears struck first behind quarterback Hazen Moss. Rifle ran up the middle of the Bulldogs defense, chewing up more than four minutes from the clock.

Moss chose to keep the ball on a fourth down option, plunging in from six yards out.

“We are a balanced team with a great quarterback,” Rifle coach Damon Wells said. “He’s the guy you want your daughter to marry. He’s not only a great quarterback, he’s a great person.”

The Bulldogs tried to answer.

Moffat County rode its three back set down the field, picking up three consecutive first downs.

But, the offense stalled.

Wide receiver Tyler Roach dropped what possibly could have been the tying touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Linsacum on third down, and the Bulldogs were forced to punt.

Rifle’s option attack eventually wore down the Bulldogs.

Moss proved he will be a force to reckon with come playoff time, punching in from three yards out with 3:47 left before halftime.

Moffat’s offense stalled out of the break, being held to a three-and-out.

Rifle went back to what worked in the first half.

The Bears ran through the center of the Bulldogs defense, chewing up more time and turf, before Brian Key scored from five yards out, to push the lead to 21.

Moffat drove down the field, picking up two key first downs behind the running of Eli Buckner, but an errant Linsacum pass on third down was picked off by the Bears, and Moffat was shut out for the third quarter in a row.

The fourth quarter was the last chance for the Bulldogs to put some points on the board.

Moffat County succeeded in its bid to avoid the season-ending goose egg, scoring on a three-yard rollout pass from Linsacum to Buckner with 3:30 remaining in the contest.

Safety Paul Nelson led the Bulldogs’ defense. Nelson was in on 17 tackles, and made a big first down catch on offense.

“It was a fun year, even if it didn’t turn out the way we expected,” Nelson said.

“We all wanted to go farther, but it just didn’t happen. I love these guys though.”

Moffat County was held to a total of 163 yards and 10 first downs.

Linsacum finished 7-15 passing for 91 yards with a touchdown, while Lyle Schaffner led the Bulldog rushing attack with 32 yards on nine carries.