Varsity football starts Saturday
This game is for real.
After playing a scrimmage against the Montrose Indians Saturday the Moffat County High School (MCHS) varsity football team will open the season on the road at 1 p.m. Saturday against the Fruita Monument Wildcats.
According to coach John Haddan, the Bulldogs, who started practice on Aug. 16, are anxious for the season to get started.
“The kids are ready to play,” said Haddan. “We have been practicing since the middle of August. They have been hitting on each other for several weeks now and we look forward to the challenge of playing Fruita Monument.”
“We have never won against Fruita Monument since I have been here,” said senior Matt Johnston, an offensive and defensive lineman. “I have been waiting for this game all summer and we are ready to start the season.”
The Bulldogs, who play in Class 3A, had a strong showing against the 4A Indians and that momentum carried into practice this week.
“We had a good week of practice,” said Haddan. “The practice level has been high and we have had a pretty good effort from our scout team defense which gives our offense a really good look.”
The Wildcats, who lost their season opener to Rangeview, 14-0, on Friday, watched the Bulldogs scrimmage the Indians.
“We went to the scrimmage in Montrose and we thought the Bulldogs handled the Indians fairly easily,” said Wildcats coach Billy Moore. “The Bulldogs defense held Montrose offense down and the Bulldogs offense looked really good.”
Last year, the Wildcats downed the Bulldogs, 42-14 in Craig, but Moore believes the game this year will be closer.
“We think that Montrose should be a pretty good team this year,” said Moore. “With that in mind the Bulldogs are doing a good job and they are a lot better team this year. We expect it to be a good football game.
“We have a lot of inexperienced offensive lineman and right now they are just not hitting on all cylinders. In our first game we had six turnovers and that normally would not happen.”
Johnston believes the game will be won or lost up front.
“On Saturday our offensive line needs to block well,” said Johnston. “On defense we need to get could penetration. I know that our defense will have a good game. If our offense has a good game we will win.”
Haddan said the Bulldogs will count on the Wildcats to run the same offense they did a year ago.
“We expect most of the same stuff that we saw from the last year,” said Haddan. “They run a lot off tackle and a I formation. They do a lot of different things. They are very good on special teams.”
MCHS, which has installed a new offense for the season, plans to play more run-and-shoot, mixed with a no-huddle attack, to get the ball moving.
“The offense is looking good,” said Haddan. “We don’t have the whole package in and we are going to save some of that for our league play. We don’t want to show too much in the preseason, but we have enough offense to beat Fruita.”
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs defense is in good shape.
“The defense has been doing a good job,” said Haddan. “Our attitude this year is to keep the defense simple. With the kids that we have returning on defense we think that we just let them play ball. We will be real succesful. We have a few minor dings here and there, but for the most part we are healthy and ready to go.”
Moore said Fruita fans will in the stands on Saturday.
“We always get a pretty good gate down here,” said Moore. “The crowd would be bigger if the game was played on Friday night, but people always like to come out and watch football.”
Emergency personnel responded to a motorcycle crash that sent a rider to the hospital Tuesday.