Moffat County football dukes it out with Delta | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County football dukes it out with Delta

Bulldogs have good receiving game in 50-13 loss

With a last-second loss and a nearly unstoppable win situation behind them in recent weeks, Moffat County High SchoolMoffat County High School football players knew Friday night that their latest opponent would be yet another different type of opponent, one with an established track record of dominance last season, nursing an unexpected loss to start their season and ready to take a win by force, Panthers finishing in front, 50-13. football players knew Friday night that their latest opponent would be yet another different type of opponent, one with an established track record of dominance last season, nursing an unexpected loss to start their season and ready to take a win by force, Panthers finishing in front, 50-13.

Moffat County High School football players knew Friday night that their latest opponent would be yet another different type of opponent, one with an established track record of dominance last season, nursing an unexpected loss to start their season and ready to take a win by force, Panthers finishing in front, 50-13.

Moffat County High School varsity football vs. Delta

Team — 1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q Final

MCHS — 0 7 0 6 13

Delta — 14 14 14 8 50

The Bulldogs hosted Delta High School in a game that pitted two previously 3A Western Slope teams against one another in the 2A division.

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A 53-7 2013 defeat to the Panthers remained in the backs of Bulldogs' minds, though few of them had actually experienced that loss when last the two teams met, while Delta had a more recent motivation driving them — a crushing Zero Week loss to Durango that, at 21-20, was a hard pill to swallow.

Within three minutes of the start of the game, Delta was already up, 7-0, following a touchdown from three yards by Damon Jensen, whom head coach Keith Gille identified as the one to stop.

Bulldogs gave the ball back quickly and soon a 21-yard pass to Trey Johnson netted the Panthers yet another touchdown to put them ahead, 14-0, in the first quarter.

Moffat County was back on their feet in the second however and a quick pass from Keenan Hildebrandt to Eddie Smercina turned from a good first down opportunity into a 75-yard TD thanks to downfield blocking from Mikinzie Klimper.

The euphoric MCHS crowd — buoyed by the Moffat County band and the return of the Bulldog cheerleaders — was silenced too soon, as Jensen answered back by weaving through the Dog defense on a 62-yard TD run.

After plenty of punting back and forth between the two teams and little forward progress, it looked like the Panthers would hold only a 14-point halftime lead, but Tristan Brown made it a three-touchdown game with 30 seconds left in the half to give Delta the 28-7 advantage.

Moffat County found success right into the second half, as Panthers fumbled the kickoff return and John T Peroulis came up with it. Another big run by Jensen following their retention of the ball was piggybacked by quarterback Kole Roberts charging in from 14 for another six points.

And, while the Panthers stayed after it, one of the Bulldogs was sidelined midway through the third quarter, Chace Marshall sporting a sling.

As he and Hildebrandt chatted between plays, Marshall took the opportunity to remind his quarterback of something: "It ain't over yet."

A 50-yard touchdown catch by Delta's Beau Byers and another short score by Jensen sped up the clock going into the fourth quarter, but Marshall's words proved prophetic as Hildy threw a Hail Mary pass that found Klimper, gaining 74 yards and a TD.

After several attempts to break through Delta's defensive line, Hildebrandt said the shift to passing was a must.

"Line did a really good job blocking, receivers ran great routes, and we were just hooking up tonight," he said. "Delta's a very well-coached team, and we've just got some improvements to make."

Hildy threw seven for 15, 223 yards, and two interceptions, also picking up 25 yards of rushing on seven carries. Smercina ran 39 yards and Kaden Hafey 14.

Klimper — also picking up a dozen tackles and recovering a fumble — caught three passes for 103 yards, Smercina had two grabs for 101, Isaac Montoya one for 11 and Cale Scranton one for eight.

Following Klimper on the defensive side were Peroulis with nine tackles and Ryan Zimmerman with eight.

Assistant coach Jesse LaRose said the loss that puts Bulldogs at 1-2 is tough but the continual whittling down of the roster due to injuries is worse. A bye week will help provide some recuperation, but ensuring everyone is healthy and hearty will be key.

"We've gotta make sure these guys are ready for league," he said. "We're tired of watching our guys get hurt. They battled tonight, and they gave us all they had. That's what matters."

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.

Moffat County High School varsity football vs. Delta

Team — 1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q Final

MCHS — 0 7 0 6 13

Delta — 14 14 14 8 50