Huskies to see a different Bulldogs team in game today |

Huskies to see a different Bulldogs team in game today

David Pressgrove

The Battle Mountain football team really wanted to get a look at Moffat County last week.

Several coaches took the 230-plus mile trip to watch Moffat County play Rawlins, Wyo., in the season opener.

What they saw were two quality football teams.

“Moffat beat a talented Rawlins team, 27-7,” Husky head coach Pat Engle said. “We have the utmost respect for Moffat County. They handed our heads to us last year.”

Other than that, Engle was tight-lipped about today’s matchup.

He wouldn’t say what kind of team the Bulldogs need to prepare for.

“That’s more up to the Moffat coaching staff to figure out than for me to say,” he said.

On the difference between his team’s preparation for the season opener, a 47-0 win against Class 1A South Park, and Class 3A’s No. 4 ranked Moffat, “We fully expected to win last week.”

The Huskies have only four seniors on their roster, but hard work in the off-season gives the team the belief it can improve from a 2-8 season last year, Engle said.

They’ve opened up their offense with a spread-option attack. That offense brought three passing touchdowns and four rushing touchdowns against South Park.

Last year the Huskies were coming off a 27-0 win against South Park when they faced Moffat. It was their first win in two years and the first time the team had won a season opener in seven seasons.

Then the Bulldogs came to town and stuffed the Huskies, 55-0.

“I don’t think our kids are thinking about last year because they see the 47-0 and know it takes some ability to do that,” Moffat coach Kip Hafey said. “One thing though is that I’m confident we’ll be a different team from last week.”

The Bulldogs turned the ball over six times against Rawlins, something the Husky coaching staff noted on the scouting report.

Eliminating turnovers is a goal Hafey set for his team tonight.

“Five of those turnovers were our own mental errors,” he said. “They aren’t mistakes we’ll make this week.”

The Bulldogs haven’t prepared specifically for Battle Mountain during this week’s practices. On Thursday, Hafey didn’t know that the Huskies had changed their offense. Instead, the team has focused more on fixing the problems they faced in their first game.

“We need to get back to our 9-5-9 philosophy on defense,” he said. “Those extra guys around the ball can cause things to happen.”

The “9-5-9 philosophy” puts nine guys within five yards of the ball 90 percent of the time. Last week there was too much standing around after the initial contact with the ball carrier, Hafey said.

“We’ve worked a lot on finishing plays this week,” he said. “We’re going to go right after (Battle Mountain) and create opportunities by finishing every time.”

Last year a bear visited the Bulldogs outside their locker room after they beat the Huskies. Hafey was certain it wouldn’t happen again, but the thought brought back good memories.

“It was a good day because we won big and didn’t get attacked by a bear,” he said. “I hope we can duplicate that day again, except for the bear.”

The kickoff for the game at the newly labeled “Bulldog Proving Grounds” Stadium is 7 p.m.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Craig and Moffat County make the Craig Press’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.