Varsity football starts league play Friday |

Varsity football starts league play Friday

Bruce Tippets

A high school football season has four phases. Phase one is two weeks of two-a-days. Phase two is non-conference games. Phase three is league play, and phase four is playoff games.

Phase three begins Friday night for the Moffat County High School varsity football team when the Bulldogs (1-2) face the Eagle Valley Devils (0-3) on the road at 7:30 p.m.

“We are ready to start league play and the kids are ready to put the preseason behind us,” said coach John Haddan. “We have had a real good week of practice and the intensity level has raised a couple of notches. The kids are flying around and hitting people.”

In the Western Slope League, the Bulldogs look to be right in the middle of a three-team race against Rifle and Delta.

“We should contend for the league title,” said Haddan. “Everybody in the program will be disappointed if we don’t finish toward the top. Three automatic teams make the playoffs from the league.”

Even though the Devils are winless for the season Haddan knows the Bulldogs will have their hands full.

“Eagle Valley is young, but they are tough,” said Haddan. “They came up here for homecoming last year and we beat them 12-0.

“We look for a good ballgame out of them.”

Haddan believes it’s important for the Bulldogs to start conference season with a victory on the road.

“You have to win on the road to win the league,” said Haddan. “We need to go down there and come out with a lot of intensity, fly around and do things right.”

The Devils come into the game having lost to Roaring Fork, Cedaredge and Meeker.

“We are ready to start conference,” said Devils coach John Rammuno. “It’s always fun to play on your home field. We know that we have a tough challenge with the Bulldogs, because they have a lot of good kids on their team.”

According to Rammuno, the Devils have a team that is loaded with underclassmen.

“We are a little younger than we were last year,” said Rammuno. “I graduated 13 seniors from the team a year ago that did a lot for us. We are playing a lot of young kids, but we are kind of learning and getting better each day out. Last year, the game was a defensive struggle and I think this year there will be more offense involved in the game.”

Eagle Valley will play its homecoming game and Rammuno believes the stands will be packed.

“We should have a good crowd since it’s our homecoming game,” said Rammuno. “We are hoping that we can stay focused and take care of business on Friday night.”

Haddan said the Bulldogs won’t be affected by the homecoming hoopla.

“We don’t care if it’s homecoming or the last game of the year,” said Haddan. “We don’t care about any of that stuff. We are just going to go down and play good, hard-nose football.”