Playing in a ‘dead zone’
The past two weeks have been unprecedented for Kip Hafey and his coaching staff.
The Moffat County football staff is not used to practicing without the playoffs ahead.
Not only is that the case this year, the Bulldogs knew two weeks ago their chances were over.
“The kids aren’t sure how to take it, either,” Hafey said. “We’ve been a top-10 team, and with the drop off from that, it’s been tough for everybody.”
In the Bulldogs’ 37-20 loss to Pueblo West on Friday, Hafey said he didn’t see a lack of focus.
“We’ve been happy with the attitude,” he said. “There’s still a focus there, but it’s different.”
For three-year starter Kevin Loughran, it’s been hard to focus.
“It’s hard to explain but it’s like you’re in a dead zone,” he said. “Motivation is tough sometimes.”
The Cyclones came to town with their chances of making the playoffs at slim-to-none and a three-game losing streak.
Pueblo West was able to break the streak by scoring the most points the Bulldogs had given up all year.
The loss Friday was the third straight for the Bulldogs. The final goal of the season is to go out knowing what it feels like to win.
“The last two weeks had similar importance for us,” Loughran said. “Last week was our last home game. Now, it’s our last game.”
One positive to take away from the game Friday was Moffat’s ability to throw the ball. Senior quarterback Derek Duran found six re—-ceivers and threw for 224 yards.
The ability to throw the ball makes it difficult for the team’s opponent, Mon–tezuma-Cortez, to prepare on defense.
“We’ll do what works,” Hafey said. “The run has worked for us at times this year, and so has the pass. That makes us tough to prepare for.”
The game is for fifth place in the Western Slope League. The Bulldogs leave Thursday with the JV team finishing up its season against Grand Junction Central on Thursday. The JV and varsity then travel to Moab, Utah, on Thursday night. They’ll make the rest of the trip to Cortez on Friday for the 7 p.m. kickoff.
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Routt County is working with both Rio Blanco and Moffat counties and municipalities across northwestern Colorado to create an umbrella organization to better coordinate and pursue economic development in the region.