Moffat County football starting fresh against Ridge View Academy | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County football starting fresh against Ridge View Academy

Bulldogs prepare for home opener, seek to avenge previous week's loss

Members of the Moffat County High School corps of linemen warm up prior to the Bulldogs' Aug. 26 game against Rawlins, Wyoming. MCHS plays at home this week against Ridge View Academy. The team will be missing senior Hugo Hernandez (52), who suffered a season-ending fracture in the Rawlins game.

Last week held some unpleasant surprises for the Moffat County High SchoolMoffat County High School varsity football team, and this weekend will see the Bulldogs get their focus back in front of a home crowd. varsity football team, and this weekend will see the Bulldogs get their focus back in front of a home crowd.

Moffat County High School varsity football team, and this weekend will see the Bulldogs get their focus back in front of a home crowd.

The first home game of the season brings in Ridge View Academy, of Watkins, the first of three opponents the Dogs will host during September.

This is the fifth year in a row the cross-state teams have met, Moffat County having lost only once to the Rams in that time, and the motivation to avoid a defeat is great for the 0-1 squad.

If you go

Moffat County High School varsity football vs. Ridge View Academy

7 p.m. Friday

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MCHS, 900 Finley Lane

— Admission is $5 for adults, free to students. A Fifth Quarter block party — for high school students only — hosted by Bear River Young Life and Grand Futures Prevention Coalition follows the game. Admission is $1.

Last week, MCHS had all but wrapped up a game in Rawlins, WyomingMCHS had all but wrapped up a game in Rawlins, Wyoming, when a long touchdown pass by the Outlaws with less than one minute of playing time remaining on the clock stymied them, 15-12., when a long touchdown pass by the Outlaws with less than one minute of playing time remaining on the clock stymied them, 15-12.

MCHS had all but wrapped up a game in Rawlins, Wyoming, when a long touchdown pass by the Outlaws with less than one minute of playing time remaining on the clock stymied them, 15-12.

Head coach Keith Gille said the shocker at the end of the game was an unfortunate outcome given the strong Bulldog defensive effort, though he felt his offense just wasn't where it needed to be with blocking, for which he feels responsible.

"It's against my principles to blame anyone but myself when my team isn't prepared," he said.

The game with Ridge View is one that is tricky to prepare for, with limited information on the team that plays for a correctional school. Requirements are strict for players to attend away games, and the Rams don't always have the same lineup, Gille said.

"You never know what you're gonna get with them from week to week," he said. "We do know they're fast."

Ridge View is also 0-1 after a Saturday game that saw them fall, 36-8, in Westminster against The Academy.

"They'll be hungry for a win, just like us," Gille said.

Additionally, the Bulldogs are still feeling a loss that happened swiftly and sharply in Rawlins, with senior Hugo Hernandez out for the season with a tib-fib fracture — tibia and fibula — incurred in the first quarter against the Outlaws.

Hernandez is currently recuperating at St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction. MCHS coaches have visited the multi-sport athlete, who also wrestles in the winter and plays baseball in the spring.

A donation fund for Hernandez's medical expenses is also available through Moffat County Federal Credit Union. For more information, call 970-824-7005.

Coaches and players are doing their best not to get too down about their roster missing one of its finest and get back to playing the game.

Assistant coach Jesse LaRose said the loss to the line is lessened by the fact that many on the team are ready to try and step into Hernandez's shoes.

"That's a big set of shoes to fill. Losing Hugo hurts and that's weighing on their minds, but football is a game of next man up," he said. "If we handle our business, it should be a W."

MCHS seniors Isaac Montoya and Ryan Zimmerman are more than prepared to get back on the field and earn a win for themselves and for their injured teammate.

"We're ready to show the whole town what we've got," Zimmerman said.

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.

If you go

Moffat County High School varsity football vs. Ridge View Academy

7 p.m. Friday

MCHS, 900 Finley Lane

— Admission is $5 for adults, free to students. A Fifth Quarter block party — for high school students only — hosted by Bear River Young Life and Grand Futures Prevention Coalition follows the game. Admission is $1.