Moffat County football slams Steamboat for Homecoming hurrah | SteamboatToday.com

Moffat County football slams Steamboat for Homecoming hurrah

Bulldogs sink Sailors, 18-0, in second consecutive shutout of rival team

Andy Bockelman

Moffat County High School's Spencer Brown works to take down Steamboat Springs' Canon Reece on the Sailor kick return during the Friday night football game in Craig between Moffat County and Steamboat. The Bulldogs won the Highway 40 rivalry game, 18-0, as part of MCHS homecoming.

— The longtime Yampa Valley rivalry was renewed Friday night as Craig's Moffat County High School brought in their most intense opponent over the years, the Steamboat Springs Sailors.

MCHS celebrated its Homecoming Week by improving to 4-3 overall and 3-0 in the Western Slope League with an 18-0 win, the second shutout in a row of the Sailors, now 0-7 this season.

Heading into the match-up, Bulldog coach Keith Gille told his players to beware "the 0-6 monsters," a winless team always one to be on the watch.

"They've got nothing to lose," Gille said, stating that the Sailors' record before Friday was no indicator of their proficiency on the gridiron.

Back in the same division for the first time since 2013, the two teams, now both 2A came out strong, particularly on defense.

Considering the night began with a game ball delivery by a Classic Air helicopter, the first quarter was very uneventful as neither team scored across the entire 12 minutes, though a Sailor interception by Ford Louden had the visiting sidelines excited.

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The home crowd energy however was feverish and eventually paid off as Miki Klimper reeled in an end zone catch for 18 yards and the first score midway through the second period to make it 6-0 at the break.

Homecoming halftime events kept the Craig crowd excited, but not much was happening for either team coming back onto the field in the third quarter.

As Steamboat moved to punt to start the final quarter, a miscue set up a huge opportunity for the Dogs that wound up with them recovering at the 5-yard line, and quarterback Keenan Hildebrandt made the most of it on a three-yard TD.

The resulting kickoff again gave it to MCHS when the Sailors made contact but didn't cover up the ball as Greg Hixson and Ryan Zimmerman got it back for the Bulldogs.

Following some fancy footwork by Hildy and Dominic Pascetti, a five-yard catch by Cale Scranton capped off another drive by Moffat County to give them the win.

However, it was the other side of the game that won it, according to Hildebrandt.

"Our defense just shut them down," he said happily.

The team in white, black and red made it into the red zone repeatedly throughout the game but couldn't quite finish, the Sailors' weariness showing by the end with fewer second-string players to relieve the starters as opposed to the depth chart of MCHS.

"Our roster may be small, but we've got guys on this team who really love the game," said Steamboat's Johnathon Kaminski.

The Sailors next travel to Aspen, who lost Friday, 43-22, against Roaring Fork, while in other WSL news, Basalt sped past Coal Ridge, 49-24.

The Bulldogs are on the road in the following week for a sizable showdown with the Longhorns, a game that could clinch the conference title for either side, as well as the chances of the playoffs.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.

Moffat County High School varsity football vs. Steamboat Springs

Team — 1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q Final

MCHS — 0 6 0 12 0

SSHS — 0 0 0 0 0