Steamboat Springs' Billy Clark pulls in a pass late in the first half of Friday night's football game at Gardner Field against Moffat County High School.

Photo by John F. Russell

Steamboat Springs' Billy Clark pulls in a pass late in the first half of Friday night's football game at Gardner Field against Moffat County High School.

Steamboat Springs football falls to rival Moffat County

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Steamboat Springs' Nathan Parks celebrates a Sailors touchdown in the first half of Friday night's game in Steamboat Springs.

— If there is one team that understands the importance of fast starts to the season, it’s the Moffat County High School football team.

The Bulldogs watched the past two years slip away in the first half of the season. Each time, furious finishes couldn’t overcome porous starts.

So for a team looking to get back to the playoffs, Friday was a good sign.

Moffat, after a quick start and then a lull, dominated the second half Friday, dispatching Steamboat, 56-27.

“That was our big thing,” Moffat coach Kip Hafey said. “We needed a league win. We talked about that before the rivalry. It was a hard one (last week) against Rifle. This was a big test for us. We had to bounce back.”

It initially appeared Moffat would run away with the game.

In an absolutely unpredictable first half, the tide turned and turned and then turned again.

The Bulldogs were up 14-0 at 58 seconds into the game after Levi Ogden returned a Christian Ramirez fumble 22 yards for a touchdown. Josh Pritchard picked off Ramirez on the next possession and returned it for a touchdown.

“We spotted them two,” Steamboat coach Lonn Clementson said.

After Ramirez found Billy Clark from 60-yards out to cut it to 14-7, Moffat poured it on. The Bulldogs got a Garrett Stewart touchdown run and a pair of touchdown passes from Bubba Ivers to go up 35-7 with 5 minutes, 40 seconds left in the half.

Then things got weird.

Brad Ryan cut it to 35-13 with a 55-yard touchdown run. Steamboat got an onside kick, and Ramirez found Penn Lukens from 1-yard out to cut it to 35-19. Then after an Ivers fumble, Ramirez found Skyler Kauf from 24 yards out to cut it to 35-27.

All that happened in 4:24 to close out the half.

The turning point came early in the third quarter. After Steamboat stopped Moffat’s fake punt attempt on fourth down, the Sailors had the ball at the Moffat 32 with a chance to tie the game.

Ramirez scampered 34 yards for a touchdown run.

Penalty flag. On the next offensive play Ramirez — who was under immense pressure all night — threw his fourth interception of the game.

Moffat put together a 13-play, 83-yard drive that took 5:12 off the clock to go up 42-27.

Steamboat never would recover.

“That was the turning point,” said Clementson, whose team gave up 35 points on seven turnovers.

Moffat put together two more sustained drives — capped by Pritchard and Michael Samuelson touchdown runs — to put the game away.

“Just too many mistakes,” Clementson said. “Points off of turnovers or just spotting points in general, it wasn’t typical of who we are. It happens.”

Ivers had a game. He was 13 of 18 passing for 144 yards with a pair of touchdowns. He also carried the ball 22 times for 114 yards. Ramirez had a tough night, finishing 6 of 21 with four interceptions and three touchdown passes.

Moffat (2-1 overall, 1-1 in the Western Slope League) returns to play at 7 p.m. Friday when the team welcomes Delta.

Steamboat (1-2, 0-2) plays at 7 p.m. Friday at Glenwood Springs.

Game statistics

Moffat 56, Steamboat 27

Moffat   Steamboat  

20 First Downs 6

47-245 Rushes-Yards 23-55

14-19-0 Comp-Att-Int 6-21-4

171 Yards Passing 161

416 Total Yards 216

3-35 Punts-Avg. 4-29

4-2 Fumbles-lost 3-2

16-155 Penalties-Yards 7-45 

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Moffat 21-14-07-14—56

Steamboat 07-20-00-0—27

SCORING SUMMARY

First Quarter

MC — 11:45, Levi Ogden 22 yard fumble return. (Jesus Duarte kick). 

MC — 11:02, Josh Pritchard 3 yard INT return. (Duarte kick). 

SS — 10:26, Billy Clark 60 pass from Christian Ramirez. (Joe DeLine kick). 

MC — 0:45, Garrett Stewart 43 run. (Duarte kick). 

Second Quarter

MC — 10:08, Michael Samuelson 5 pass from Bubba Ivers. (Duarte kick). 

MC — 5:40 Stewart 26 pass from Ivers. (Duarte kick). 

SS — 4:31, Brad Ryan 55 run. (Kick fail). 

SS — 1:44, Penn Lukens 1 pass from Ramirez. (Pass fail). 

SS — 1:16, Skyler Kauf 24 pass from Ramirez. (Lukens from Ramirez). 

Third Quarter

MC — 3:20, Samuelson 1 run. (Duarte kick). 

Fourth Quarter

MC — Josh Pritchard 2 run. (Duarte kick). 

MC — Samuelson 5 run. (Duarte kick). 

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing

MC: Bubba Ivers 22-114; Michael Samuelson 13-62, 2 TD; Jacob Teeter 3-1; Garrett Stewart 3-56, 1 TD; Pritchard 4-10, 1 TD; Ryder Seely 1-2. 

SS: Billy Clark 6-12; Brad Ryan 6-65, 1 TD; Ramirez 10-(-9); Ben Custer 2-(-3); Lukens 1-(-11). 

Passing

MC: Ivers 13-18-0, 144 yards 2 TD; Stewart 1-1-0, 27 yards. 

SS: Ramirez 6-18-4, 161 yards, 3 TD. 

Receiving

MC: Stewart 5-78, 1 TD; Seely 2-31; Teeter 2-27; Samuelson 1-5, 1 TD; Jarrett Walt 4-30. 

SS: Clark 2-80, 1 TD; Kauf 3-80, 1 TD; Lukens 1-1, 1 TD. 

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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