Varsity team ready for home opener |

Varsity team ready for home opener

Bruce Tippets

For the first time this season, the Moffat County High School varsity football team will play at home and against another Class 3A school.

Kickoff against the Jefferson (Golden, Colo.) Saints is set for 1 p.m. Saturday at the high school field. The Bulldogs, who dropped their regular season opener to the Class 4A Fruita Monument Wildcats, 40-7, are ready to battle the Saints.

“We have had a real good week of practice in getting ready for Jefferson,” said Bulldogs coach John Haddan. “Last week we knew that we would have to play a perfect game against Fruita Monument to beat that team.”

Haddan said the Saints will mix things up on offense.

“Jefferson runs some different types of sets on offense,” said Haddan. “They run a little power formation. It will be a fun ball game and the kids are excited to play a school of their own size.”

According to Haddan, the Saints play in a strong league.

“Jefferson comes out of that tough central league with Evergreen, Faith Christian and D’evelyn,” said Haddan. “Coming out of Denver they are always ready to play.”

Offense has been the focus of practice this week.

“We worked on our offense execution,” said Haddan. “We worked on some fundamentals on offense and defense. There were some areas that we needed to improve and so we have been working on improving on all those areas.”

The players can’t wait for the home game.

“We are excited to get to play at home and have a good showing against Jefferson on Saturday,” said senior middle linebacker and center Kevin Field. “On Saturday, we need to execute our new offense and our defense has to step it up.

“Having a lot of fan support helps us out. Having everyone cheering helps more than they imagine.”

Last week, the Saints were beat by the Fort Carson Trojans, 28-19. The Trojans are the No. 4-ranked team in Class 3A.

“We were ahead 19-14 with two minutes left and a Fort Carson kids ran the ball for 85 yards for a touchdown to make it 20-19,” said Saints coach Jim Smith. “This year we are short on players and we only have 21 on the varsity team. We have a couple of kids who are hurt. Every sport at the high school is short on players.

“I don’t know how the bus ride will affect us. We are kind of beat up. I also know that the kids had an emotional letdown after our first game. With those things in mind it should be a good game on Saturday.”

Saturday, the Bulldogs took a 7-6 lead into the break against the Fruita Monument Wildcats and then things fell apart. Haddan knows that can’t happen against Jefferson.

“To win Saturday we will have to execute a lot better than we did our first game,” said Haddan. “We will need to play a whole game. We played a great first half against Fruita Monument and if we play four quarters on Saturday we should be in good shape.

“We are really excited about playing at home on Saturday. We have some new blue uniforms that we are going to break out and the kids are excited. Hopefully a lot people will come out and watch us play.”