Moffat beats Steamboat football in season closer |

Moffat beats Steamboat football in season closer

Luke Graham

Steamboat Springs' Mike Lekarczyk rumbles up the field Friday. Despite his gain on the play, the Sailors couldn't hang with Moffat County, falling 27-6 at home.

— Neither coach will tell you his team's season was a success. 

But in what could be the last time rivals Moffat County and Steamboat Springs meet in the Western Slope League — Moffat's enrollment might push it down to Class 2A next year — the Bulldogs won a battle of pride Friday night, downing the Sailors, 27-6. 

The game ended the season for both football teams. Moffat went 3-7 and Steamboat had its second consecutive 0-10 campaign. 

The Sailors now have lost 21 straight games. 

"It's always fun to win a rivalry game," said Moffat coach Kip Hafey, whose team outgained Steamboat 408 yards to 129. "Steamboat did a heck of a job. You always want to come out on top. Pleased with the way we prepared. When the momentum did switch, our defense got us a turnover."

That was it. 

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In a microcosm of two years of play, whenever Steamboat had some momentum, the team could do nothing with it. 

It started on the opening kickoff when Evan Hornstein returned the ball to Moffat's 34-yard line. Then, on the first play from scrimmage, Steamboat fumbled. 

Moffat County used just eight plays from there to take a 7-0 lead on a 12-yard touchdown run by Bubba Ivers. 

"We've tried to understand how important momentum is and how to keep it," Steamboat coach Lonn Clementson said. 

Steamboat again had a big kickoff return, this time to the Moffat 24, and scored on a 2-yard run by Ben Custer to cut it to 7-6. 

After the teams traded possessions, Ivers did it again, weaving his way 86 yards for a touchdown and a 14-6 Bulldogs lead. After Steamboat punted on its next possession, Ivers found Miguel Molina for a 74-yard touchdown pass and a 21-6 lead. On the next Bulldogs possession, they went 15 plays and 91 yards, capped by a 6-yard pass from Ivers to Jarret Walt for a 27-6 lead at half. 

Moffat, after Steamboat's first touchdown, completely dominated the game. In the first half, the Bulldogs gained 317 yards to the Sailors' 47. Moffat had that 15-play touchdown drive, while Steamboat ran 19 total offensive plays. 

"That was our focus: Get it to the edge," Hafey said about his team's running game. "That's what we worked on all week, and it went really well in the first half. We were able to put up four scores on the board."

Clementson, despite two straight winless seasons, said he remained upbeat. He cited the team's lack of seniors — Steamboat had just three — and lack of depth as key reasons for the disappointing season. 

"But we're glass half-full. Period," he said. "There is no feeling sorry for ourselves. There is no would of, could of, should ofs. We gave up way too many big plays. There are three huge plays tonight. Take those away, and we're in the game."

— To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email

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