Getting even |

Getting even

Bulldogs spoil Delta's homecoming with fourth-quarter comeback

John Vandelinder

The Moffat County High School football offense runs practice drills against the defensive line Wednesday in preparation for Friday's game against Delta High School. The Bulldogs pulled from behind in the exciting game, topping the Panthers, 12-10, in Delta's homecoming game.

Moffat County and Delta, both 1-2 in league play entering Friday’s contest, were searching for a pivotal win that would place one of the two teams at the .500 mark.

Somebody was going to be 2-2 in the Western Slope League, while the other would have an uphill climb at 1-3.

Moffat County won’t have to do the climbing this week, prevailing, 12-10, in a nail-biter against the host Panthers.

The Bulldogs (2-2 WSL, 2-3 overall) used a 12-point fourth quarter to steal the homecoming game glory from Delta (1-3 WSL, 1-4 overall) and put the Panthers in a two-game hole in the Western Slope League standings.

The Bulldogs were held scoreless for the game’s first three quarters, before Halen Raymond scored from six yards out to pull within four, at 10-6.

“We just exploded in that fourth quarter,” Raymond said. “We still have a chance at the playoffs. We’re the team to beat now. Nobody can stop us.”

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The Bulldogs’ defense forced a three-and-out, and along with a botched punt by Delta, took control offensively with just less than six minutes remaining in regulation. A 28-yard run by Jasen Kettle, followed by a facemask penalty on the Panthers, set up quarterback Matt Linsacum for a two-yard sneak and subsequent touchdown, propelling Moffat County into the lead.

The Panthers blocked the extra point, needing a field goal in the game’s final 2:30 to claim victory.

That’s when the drama began.

Delta ran the no-huddle shotgun offense down to the Bulldogs’ 18-yard line, easily within range for kicker Manuel Ramirez.

But consecutive flags pushed the Panthers backward, and a ticking clock was too much pressure for the junior kicker.

With 2.9 seconds remaining, Ramirez flubbed the kick, sealing the Bulldogs’ victory.

“They had a lot of disarray out there on the field,” MCHS coach Kip Hafey said. “We had a ton of penetration, and I knew we’d block it, but we didn’t have to.”

The game was going the Panthers’ way early on, as Delta took a 7-0 first-quarter lead behind the running of sophomore David Patton (18 carries for 109 yards and a touchdown).

Moffat County couldn’t start up its offense in the first half, and a 27-yard field goal by Ramirez with nine seconds left before the halftime buzzer, gave the home team a 10-0 lead.

Moffat County’s defense stiffened out of the break, led by the return to the gridiron by senior Ethan Robinson.

Robinson’s 12-yard sack of Panthers quarterback Cory Hilborne forced a field goal miss by Ramirez.

“It was amazing,” Robinson said of the pivotal sack. “We had great help defense and it fired the whole defense up.”

That one sack would prove more costly to the Panthers than Delta coach Kirk McLaughlin could have ever imagined.

“There were a lot of things that went wrong out there,” McLaughlin said. “It wasn’t just one thing. We missed two big kicks. We will see the character of this team and find out how they bounce back after a loss like this.”

Moffat County players drenched Hafey in Gatorade and sang the Bulldog chant for the more-than-50 dedicated fans who traveled from Craig for the game. The Bulldogs visit Eagle Valley on Friday, looking to move to 3-2 in the WSL.

“We will enjoy this win over the weekend, then get right back to work,” Hafey said. “Eagle Valley is a tough, big team pound-for-pound.”

Notes: Punter Brady Conner left the game in the second quarter with a leg injury, which Hafey speculated is stretched ligaments.

Game statistics

Moffat County: 12

Delta: 10

Box Score 1 2 3 4 F

MCHS: 0 0 0 12 12

DHS: 7 3 0 0 10

MCHS Team Statistics DHS

10 First Downs 17

30-158 Rushes-yards 45-220

27 Passing-yards 64

4-7-0 Comp-att-int 5-15-0

5-161 Punts 3-11

0-0 Fumbles-lost 1-1

3-20 Penalties-yards 5-26


DHS: Patton 34 run (Ramirez kick) 8:04

DHS: Ramirez 27 field goal 0:09

MC: Raymond 6 run (kick blocked) 8:52

MC: Linsacum 2 run (kick failed) 2:55

Key individual statistics



Pablo Salcido 15-59

Halen Raymond 13-57-1td


Michael Patton 18-109-1td

Robert Simpson 9-49



Matt Linsacum 4-7-27


Austin Watson 5-12-64



Pablo Salcido 4-30


Cory Hilborne 3-35