Moffat County football team travels to Rifle for season finale |

Moffat County football team travels to Rifle for season finale

John Vandelinder

— The victories haven’t piled up like most expected this season for the Moffat County football team, but coach Kip Hafey said wins and losses don’t necessarily reveal the success of the team.

The Bulldogs (2-5 in the Western Slope League, 3-6 overall) head to Rifle on Friday to face the Bears (4-3 WSL, 5-4 overall), looking for a victory to end the season on a positive note.

“We need to win this week for the seniors,” Hafey said. “We have a great core of seniors that have stuck it out. They deserve to leave the field as winners. It’s about Bulldog pride.”

The Bulldogs won’t be making the postseason this year, but spoiling it for the Bears – who currently sit in the fourth and final qualifying spot – would be a great achievement in Hafey’s eyes.

“Rifle will probably be in the playoffs,” he said. “We are going to do everything we can to pull a victory away from them. We have everybody healthy and ready to go.”

On the offensive side of the ball:

The Bulldogs opened the season on offense in a shotgun formation.

Hafey abandoned that strategy two weeks ago, preferring to utilize the three-back set instead. It has proven effective, and the Bulldogs plan to show more of it Friday.

“We will continue utilizing the misdirection,” Hafey said. “We can then run plays off of that. We’ll work in some play-action passing, as well.”

Hafey said the focus in practice this week has been on the receiving corps.

The wide-outs have been working on looking the ball in as they catch it, completing their passing routes and finishing off blocks for the running backs.

“We have got to finish well this week,” Hafey said. “The receivers have to go after the ball, regardless of if it’s a play designed for them or not.”

Matt Kincheloe, Lyle Schaffner and Eli Buckner have run hard the past few weeks out of the backfield. If the Bulldogs prevail against the Bears, Hafey said the trio will be the key to the victory.

“We all need to keep our heads up this week,” he said. “The whole team has had a chance to be part of something important. It is very special when you can say you were part of a team. They all will become winners in life from being part of a team.”

On the defensive side of the ball:

Defensive coordinator Lance Scranton has focused on discipline this week.

“We have to stay at home” in the defensive scheme, he said. “No break-downs. Making solid tackles is what we are after.”

Rifle uses an offensive scheme similar to the Bulldogs.

“That has helped us get ready this week,” he said. “We have focused on it in practice, and we will be prepared for it.”

Scranton also said the Bulldogs have been experimenting with a five-man front. Moffat has utilized a three-man front all season long in its 33 defense, with the change directly attributed to the Bears’ style of offense.

“They are a power-running team,” he said. “We need to get more guys up on the line to try and slow them down.”

Moffat County won’t add more lineman in the scheme. The Bulldogs will drop down two linebackers instead.

“The dogs (outside linebackers) give us more speed,” Scranton said. “That will give us better coverage to the outside.”

Scranton is expecting the best game of the year out of his unit.

“This has not been the year that we all expected,” he said. “But, we’ve gotten through. It’s about memories. What do you want to remember? This game will always be in their memory. The seniors need to go out with a bang.”

John Vandelinder can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Craig and Moffat County make the Craig Press’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User