New faces, same rivalry Friday night for Steamboat, Moffat County |

New faces, same rivalry Friday night for Steamboat, Moffat County

Steamboat Springs running back Mitch McCannon spreads his arms for a hand off as offensive linemen clear the way Thursday as the Sailors went through their final offensive walk through before Friday's game against Moffat County.

— How's this for a strange stat: Every single player who gained a yard for the Moffat County High School football team in last year's showdown with Steamboat Springs was a senior.

All 245 rushing yards and all 171 passing yards were from graduated players. Both fumbles, all four interceptions, all eight touchdowns were engineered by graduated players.

It was a 56-27 victory for the Bulldogs, but considering the turnover Steamboat endured, as well, Friday's game comes on a clean slate.

That's not how rivalries work, of course, but Steamboat is hoping for a far different performance and a far different result than it endured the last time it clashed with its most bitter regional foe.

"We're very excited about playing our rivals," Steamboat coach Lonn Clementson said. "The fact that we improved from Week One to Week Two is a positive sign, and we've worked very hard this week to continue that improvement."

Steamboat, 1-1, is fresh off a victory against Summit and is hoping to make it two in a row as it travels to Craig to play the Bulldogs at 7 p.m. Friday.

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Moffat County, obviously entering with a cast of largely new faces, comes in 0-2 and desperate to get something started on offense. It scored only a special teams touchdown in the season's first game, then was shutout a week ago against powerhouse Rifle.

Clementson wasn't taking a stumbling Bulldog offense for grated, however.

"Offensively, they certainly can execute," he said. "They can keep the chains moving, so we will work as hard as we possibly can to limit their long drive capability."

Keeping the focus on defense, he said big plays also are atop the list of needed improvements heading into the third week of the season.

"We need to improve on eliminating those," Clementson said. "We need to work on sticking to our assignments and tackling well. We've played some good defense, but not consistently enough.

"This week was all about improving that consistency. We need to focus more on doing one's own job rather than trying to help out a fellow teammate who may not being doing their job perfectly. Each player needs to do their assigned job well."

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

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