Steamboat, Moffat renew their football rivalry |

Steamboat, Moffat renew their football rivalry

Steamboat, Moffat renew their rivalry

Luke Graham

— With such a young team, Moffat County High School football coach Kip Hafey hasn’t really talked with his players about the playoffs. But the coach knows the reality of the Bulldogs’ situation.

They’re in a dead heat for the fourth position in the Western Slope League, and although only the top three spots are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs, it’s hard to imagine the No. 4 team in the league won’t get one of the wild card spots.

That – in addition to the rivalry – is what makes Moffat County’s 7 p.m. showdown with Steamboat Springs today at Moffat County High School so intriguing.

Win, and the Bulldogs get a needed boost to their playoff resume.

“A win here could maybe be what propels us into the playoffs,” Hafey said. “It’s a big game for us – you know, to try to get that fourth place locked into and get a wild card berth. It’s a game that could put us in the playoffs.”

There’s certainly a lot on the line for Steamboat. The Sailors (6-1 overall, 5-1 in league play) are secure, for now, in third place. With a win today, the Sailors lock up a playoff spot and still have a shot at first or second in the league pending the outcome of Saturday’s colossal showdown between No. 1 Palisade and No. 2 Glenwood Springs.

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Palisade locks up the league championship and likely the No. 1 seed in the playoffs with a win. A Glenwood win makes the week 10 matchup with Steamboat all the more intriguing.

But before any of that plays out, Sailors coach Aaron Finch said Steamboat has to get past Moffat County (3-4, 2-3).

Finch said a win tonight is no easy task, considering it’s a rivalry game on the road against a much-improved Bulldogs team.

“It’s one of those situations where we can’t look at their record or what we’ve done in the past,” Finch said. “We really have to approach it like it’s Moffat County week.”

With two differing offensive styles – the Bulldogs are a power running team, while Steamboat runs more of a finesse offense – the biggest statistic might be who controls the clock.

If Moffat County can control the ball with sustained drives that keep the ball away from the potent Steamboat attack, Hafey thinks the Bulldogs’ chances improve greatly.

“We have to own the clock, because Steamboat is capable of scoring so quick,” Hafey said. “They have a lot of weapons in the air and on the ground, and they can do it fast.”

Another key could be how quick Steamboat starts. In the Sailors’ wins this season, they have put points on the scoreboard in a hurry. In their one loss, they trailed, 16-0, in the first quarter.

“These are a lot of fun,” Hafey said. “It’s good to have this type of competition for the kids. Sailors-Bulldogs – it doesn’t get much better than this.”

If you go

What: Steamboat at Moffat County football

When: 7 p.m. today

Where: Moffat County High School

Radio: AM 1230

Steamboat football season statistics

Steamboat Opponent

85 First Downs 86

215-1,347 Rushes-Yards 280-1,168

58-105-6 Comp-Att-Int 41-128-6

934 Yards Passing 521

2,281 Total Yards 1,689

14-33 Punts-Avg. 24-33

19-4 Fumbles-lost 17-2

55-439 Penalties-Yards 43-329


Steamboat: 97-84-37-35-253

Opponent: 29-34-28-27-116



S: Hinder 55-409, 7 TD; Fraser Egan 61-394, 7 TD; Joe Dover 58-485, 7 TD;

Charles Wood 5-26, 1 TD; Dustin Siegel 14-47; Cody Harris 1-8; Jasper Gantick 1-(-19); Eric Bonner 3-15, 1 TD; Michael Savory 2-(-10); Dylan Pivarnik 1-(-4); Alex Wood 3-12; Grant McCannon 2-(-17); Garrett Pugh 8-20.


S: Hinder 54-99-6, 914 yards, 7 TD; Alex Wood 1-1-0, 22 yards, 1 TD; McCannon 1-2-0, 5 yards; Bonner 1-1-0, 2 yards; Savory 1-2-0, minus-4 yards.


S: Alex Wood 22-430, 5 TD; Cody Harris 10-225, 1 TD; Dover 14-197, 1 TD; Egan 1-0; Jack Verploeg 1-5; Nelson Brassell 3-29; Gantick 1-11; Charles Wood 1-3; Jack Spady 1-3; Dylan Pivarnik 1-11, 1 TD; Bonner 1-11; Siegiel 1-(-4).

League standings

Western Slope League

Team Overall League

Palisade 8-0 6-0

Glenwood Springs 7-0, 5-0

Steamboat Springs 6-1, 5-1

Montezuma-Cortez 3-3, 2-3

Moffat County 3-4, 2-3

Eagle Valley 2-5, 2-3

Rifle 1-6, 1-4

Delta 2-5, 1-5

Battle Mountain 0-7, 0-5