Moffat County football goes back and forth in penalty-heavy loss to Resurrection Christian
It was a heartbreaker in Loveland Friday night, as Moffat County High School varsity football fought it out with the Cougars of Resurrection Christian, ultimately ending with a 27-18 loss.
The closest game yet for the 1-3 Bulldogs was a far cry from the 42-0 blowout they endured when the Cougars came to Craig last year, and the Dogs were eager to flip that defeat this time around.
Resurrection — 0-3 heading into the faceoff — was no less ready to end their series of losses.
Even so, it was Moffat County who struck first on scoreboard, as quarterback Colby Beaver was on the money for a long pass to Miki Klimper midway through the first quarter.
Klimper, who had to reach over the Cougar cornerback to grab the ball, ran it up the sideline for 47 yards and his first touchdown of the season after being taken off the field three weeks earlier at Ridge View Academy.
The Bulldog defense was in fine form; Moffat County picked up three sacks in the first half, alone — Colby Beckett and Bryson Davis would team for one, Davis and Toryn Hume another. Dominic Pascetti and Jared Baker also combined to take down the backfield.
Even so, the Cougars were able to slowly but surely wear down the Moffat County effort early in the second quarter, gaining a 17-yard rushing TD by Kyle Lueck, though a Bulldog interception on the two-point conversion would keep it tied at 6-6, where it would stay through halftime.
Then came the 60 seconds that would change the night — within the first minute of the second half, Resurrection Christian found the end zone twice.
The first was an 85-yard kick return by Sam Barnett the Dogs were ready to shake off, though a call against Moffat County on what would have been a blocked extra point instead gave the Cougars another two points on the following conversion play.
Res Chris was right back in the red zone seconds later as a Moffat County fumble gave it to the Cougars at the 10-yard line, setting up a quick score by Lueck on a seven-yard run, though the Dogs’ line held tight to keep it 20-6.
Teams traded punts — with Klimper and Alex Nevarez sharing duties —though it was déjà vu all over again when Beaver connected with Klimper for a 51-yard TD reception that involved playing hash mark hopscotch down the side.
Though Nevarez was stuffed at the goal line to make it 20-12, Moffat County had another touchdown catch in store, as Klimper recovered a fumble at midfield forced by Spencer Brown, and the subsequent play saw Nevarez reel in a 55-yarder to score. A conversion was still not in the cards, however, leaving the score at 20-18.
Resurrection Christian put together a solid drive to again reach scoring position heading into the final period, but false start and delay of game calls tacked on unneeded extra yardage while the ‘Dogs held on fourth down.
The Cougar defense also saw its share of untimely penalties in the ensuing minutes, including a pass interference call that put Moffat County into ideal position near the 50-yard line, but Lueck gained an interception to run it back for 59 yards and six points that gave Resurrection Christian the go-ahead, including a crucial PAT that made it a two-score night.
The Cougars weren’t ready to give up the lead, no matter what it took, and a triumvirate of penalties in the final moments — roughing the passer, pass interference and unsportsmanlike conduct — gave the Dogs all kinds of room to work with, yet another pick was all they needed to claim the win by running out the clock.
Despite the two interceptions, it was Beaver’s biggest night yet for passing; he was 12 for 19 and amassed 199 yards, 115 of them from six total catches by Klimper, who also led in tackles with 18, according to statistics on MaxPreps.
Nevarez had 59 receiving yards and 52 rushing, and Cale Scranton caught for 20.
Pascetti ran for seven and Josh Teeter eight.
The game marks the final non-conference outing for the Bulldogs, who will return home for 2A Western Slope League play, beginning with Roaring Fork at 7 p.m. Sept. 29 as part of the program’s Military Appreciation Night.
The Rams are 0-4, taking their biggest loss yet Friday, 55-0 against Paonia, according to the Colorado Preps scoreboard.
In other league action, Aspen remains unbeaten at 4-0, though a road game at Grand Valley wasn’t easy, as Skiers took a narrow 30-26 win.
Coal Ridge, which Moffat County will host Oct. 6 for Homecoming, rolled over Olathe 57-26 to improve to 3-1.
Also 3-1, Basalt eked out a victory against Battle Mountain, 41-33, while winless Steamboat Springs fell to Conifer 40-7.
The Craig Press caught up with six Moffat County High School grads who have enlisted in the military after graduation. We wanted to know a little more about their hopes and dreams, and what inspired them to serve their country.