Moffat County football has hard-hitting start to conference play in Basalt
The kickoff to the 2A Western Slope League stretch of the season wasn’t what Moffat County High School football was anticipating.
The Bulldog winning streak came to its conclusion Friday night on the road in Basalt as MoCo athletes fell 49-7 against the hosting Longhorns.
With both sides going into the evening undefeated at 4-0, Basalt took command quickly and was up 13-0 in the first quarter, helped along by a strong wind at their backs that didn’t much help the Bulldogs as they went headlong into the breeze while contending with a Longhorn offense that was running on all cylinders.
Picking off Basalt quarterback Matty Gillis in the second period, Dagan White’s fourth interception of the season looked to be the break the Dogs needed.
However, the prime scoring position was lost soon after as a bobbled snap to QB Ryan Peck to amount to a sack for Basalt that pushed MoCo back nearly to the 50, forcing a punt.
Though the Longhorns took their midway break with 27 on the scoreboard, it wasn’t without a Bulldog touchdown. On fourth and long in the red zone, Peck zipped it from 18 to Kevin Hernandez, who dove over the goal line for what would be the Bulldogs’ only score of the night, followed by a Peck PAT.
Basalt kept pigskin possession for most of the third quarter, scoring two more TDs, with their final touchdown in the fourth getting the clock running with the 40-point margin.
Head coach Jamie Nelson noted that the Dogs struggled to make things happen the points they needed despite heading into the game with an abundance of confidence, with small mistakes compounding for them as the Longhorns kept building on their lead.
“Dropped passes, turnovers, those are the kinds of things that are gonna hurt you,” he said. “We can play with most teams, but we just don’t have room to make errors, we need to make those plays when we’re supposed to. We’ve gotta execute at that high level.”
Peck nonetheless had more passing yardage than Gillis with 149, with Dario Alexander catching for 106 on seven grabs, the longest of which was for 35. White had once catch for 18, Kameron Baker five yards and Donnie Quick two.
MoCo rushed for a total 90 yards, with 41 for Hernandez, 31 for Evan Atkin and 18 by Peck.
In a night of perpetual defense, the Dogs recorded 81 tackles, with 10 each for Taran Teeter, Joe Campagna and Daniel Cruz. Cruz also combined with Logan Hafey for a sack.
The start of WSL play saw a bigger blowout in Rifle as the 5-0 Bears tore apart the 1-4 Coal Ridge Titans 44-0.
Delta also stayed unbeaten, though the Panther juggernaut was slowed down compared to recent weeks, with the hosting Aspen Skiers snapping the visitors’ string of shutouts in a 27-14 night.
At 4-1, MCHS football will next host 2-3 Aspen Oct. 11 as part of Bulldog Homecoming, a match Nelson expects will be far better as the team learns from its first loss of the season.
“If we come out swinging, I think we have a chance against any team in our league,” he said. “We’ve gotta get at it right out of the gate.”