Moffat County football rules on the road to open schedule
Apart from a wetter atmosphere and a different locale, Moffat County High School’s first football game of the season was nearly identical to last year, in terms of score.
And, if you ask the Bulldogs’ head coach, the match was an even better one on both sides of the ball.
MCHS had no problem overtaking the Summit Tigers on the road, defeating their 3A hosts 41-8 to begin the year strong for the blue and white.
Much like their 40-7 win against the Tigers last year in Craig, things started strong from the get-go for the MoCo crew, with a monster first half.
An early rushing touchdown by Kevin Hernandez was followed early in the second quarter with an interception for the Bulldogs by Dagan White, who took it 24 yards all the way back to the end zone for a pick six as the Dogs led 14-0.
Besides another trip over the goal line by Hernandez, the punishing defense also added their own points, trapping the Tigers in their own territory and ultimately claiming two safeties, courtesy of Ethan Hafey and Donnie Quick, ading to a 25-0 halftime advantage.
“Things went well because they executed well on all elements of the game,” said MCHS head coach Jamie Nelson.
Nelson noted that the Bulldog coverage smothered Summit on nearly every possession, with the one exception a quarterback sneak that saw Tiger QB Cameron Kalaf get enough of a gap to break loose and take off across half the field for the home team’s only touchdown.
“There were still some first-game jitters, but we’ll keep working on it,” he said. “Second half, we came out a little flat, the rain came down, but we just kept moving that ball.”
Scoring-wise, Hernandez added another rushing TD, as did Quick.
The Dogs earned 302 yards on the ground, led by Hernandez with 170, 41 for Joe Campagna, 35 for Dario Alexander, 31 for Evan Atkin and 21 for Quick.
At quarterback in his first start, Ryan Peck scrambled for eight yards with the ball and was 10 for 23 in passing with 65 yards. White had the lengthiest reception with 19 yards of his total 46 gained from four catches.
Peck also added three PAT’s, while Hernandez ran in a conversion and White caught one for two points.
Hafey, Quick and Ryan Duzik each earned one sack, while Quick and Campagna each had eight total tackles to lead the night. Taran Teeter had six, all unassisted.
Though the score was nearly identical to that of the 2018 game between the two teams, Nelson observed a lot of improvements in his own players as well as a stronger Summit squad than he remembered from a year earlier.
“The big thing is this gives us a lot of game film so we know where we can be improving,” he said.
MCHS travels again Sept. 13, meeting rival Steamboat Springs. The same night Bulldogs were dominating on the road, the 1-1 Sailors took their first loss of the season, a 21-13 shocker at home that went to Cedaredge.
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For the first time in 18 months, the Moffat County High School auditorium will fill with music and singing from students, as the school performs MCHS’s musical, “Beauty and the Beast.”