Moffat County football leads league defensive numbers heading into conference play
Moffat County High School Homecoming varsity football vs. Basalt1 p.m. SaturdayMCHS, 900 Finley Lane— Admission is $8 for adults and free to seniors, preschool children and students with valid ID. A Homecoming tailgate party takes place at 11 a.m. For more information, call 970-824-7036.
Competition is heating up within the 2A Western Slope League, as Moffat County High School and fellow conference teams embark on the stage of the season that will determine if they will have a spot reserved during the state playoffs in November.
Here’s a look at how WSL teams stack up following their first month of play and how those statistics — provided by MaxPreps — demonstrate the strengths they’ll have going forward.
Moffat County — 2-2; 25th in RPI rankings
149.8 average rushing yards (Kevin Hernandez, 335)
129.3 passing yards (Colby Beaver, 517 passing; Victor Silva, 181 receiving)
With a split schedule to start the year, the Bulldogs started with a 40-7 home win over Summit and most recently took a 49-20 road loss to Pagosa Springs. MCHS has put up respectable numbers, with quarterback Colby Beaver ranked second in the league for throwing yardage, Kevin Hernandez fourth on the ground, and Victor Silva fifth in receptions.
Moffat County started the season at No. 13 on the Ratings Percentage Index, since falling to 25th, which they plan to alter in the coming weeks.
The Dogs’ biggest asset is the defensive statistics that far exceed every other Western Slope team, with 77 tackles per game on average. Josh Teeter’s 47 count puts him at the top of the conference, while 16.5 sacks keep them elevated as well, with Logan Knez and Jared Baker tied to lead the league with three QB bring-downs.
Basalt — 4-0; 3rd in RPI
217 average rushing yards (Jake Reardon, 480)
111.5 average passing yards (Trevor Reuss, 446 passing; Jackson Rapaport, 219 receiving)
The Longhorns visit Craig this Saturday to provide Moffat County with a challenging start to the league. Basalt has claimed the conference crown the past two years and have remained one of the biggest threats in the state, previously ranked as the top 2A team.
Running back Jake Reardon has the second-most yards in the WSL, and QB Trevor Reuss and receiver Jackson Rapaport each rank fourth in passing and catching, respectively. While not a standout in any single category, the Longhorns have shown great capability in balancing a powerhouse offense and determined defense, reflected in their scoring totals, allowing only six points to date.
Of their four games thus far, three have been shutouts, a 16-0 win against Paonia their closest yet.
Aspen — 3-1; 14th in RPI
147.8 average rushing yards (Trey Fabrocini, 287)
257.3 average passing yards (Tyler Ward, 1,044 passing; Max Ufkes, 430 receiving)
The Skiers were right on the heels of rival Basalt last season with an entry into the playoffs, and their numbers are just as impressive this year. Tyler Ward has already surpassed four digits of passing yardage with three receivers who have more than 100 yards — Max Ufkes and Noah Hollander the top two of the WSL — in a schedule that has been all about the air attack.
So far, only defending state champions Bayfield have handed Aspen a defeat, but the Skiers’ last two games have been wins of 30+ points, making them an undeniable threat as they travel to Delta this week for their first league game, hosting the Bulldogs Oct. 5.
Coal Ridge — 1-3; 32nd in RPI
181.8 average rushing yards (Jan Hernandez, 250)
56.5 average passing yards (Karsen Dubois, 163 passing; Adrian Garcia, 102 receiving)
The Titans come into the year as the conference team with the longest playoff drought, their last winning season in 2010. The start to 2018 has not been favorable either for the bottom team of the 2A WSL, apart from a 45-7 rout of Hotchkiss. However, they began the year taking Meeker into overtime to prove their toughness.
Statistically, Coal Ridge has struggled with passing, yet the Titan rushers have had success getting moving, with Jan Hernandez ranked seventh in the league.
When the New Castle team brings in Moffat County Oct. 12, they’ll seek to avenge a narrow loss last year to the Dogs that could have given the Titans a 5-4 record for the first time for the better part of a decade.
Delta — 3-1; 9th in RPI
129.3 average rushing yards (Cody Sauve, 269)
146.8 average passing yards (Nolan Bynum, 420 passing; Skyler Kraai, 222 receiving)
After a dominating start to 2A ball in 2016 that saw them in the state semifinals, the Panthers cooled down last season only to look like they might be heating up again with win margins as big as 42 points for their opener and as small as one in a 7-6 squeaker last week against Bennett.
Delta has steady numbers offensively, with QB’s Nolan Bynum and Gauge Lockhart combining for nearly 600 throwing yards, as well as top catcher Skyler Kraai. Bynum and Kraai each rank third in the conference for throwing and receiving yardage.
With 254 total tackles, the team — which comes to Craig Oct. 19 — clearly isn’t afraid of contact, and Caleb Miramontes is right behind Bulldog Josh Teeter on the leaderboard at 39.
Rifle — 4-0; 6th in RPI
379.5 average rushing yards (Tanner Vines, 777)
56.5 average passing yards (Holden Stutsman, 229 passing; Levi Warfel, 117 receiving)
With the Bears now in 2A for the first time, all WSL schools will be seeking to slow down the freight train that is running back Tanner Vines, leaving all other rushers in the dust in conference rankings. The former 3A team has only thrown the ball 19 times this season, knowing that they have the legs to make it happen on the turf with 160 points across their first four games.
In addition to MCHS’s Logan Knez and Jared Baker, Ethan Mackley is the only other player in the 2A Western Slope to gain three sacks in the season, and the Bears’ 226 total tackles are nothing to take lightly.
Rifle starts the WSL portion of the year against Coal Ridge this week, but the Bears won’t meet Moffat County until Oct. 26 to cap off the regular season as all teams hope to make it to the next round.
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission has unanimously approved a multiyear expansion of the Public Access Program, which provides limited, seasonal hunting and fishing opportunities on Colorado trust land across the state.