Bulldogs blank Battle Mountain, 53-0
EAGLE-VAIL – Battle Mountain football coach Pat Engle put it very succinctly after Battle Mountain’s 53-0 loss to Moffat County Friday night at Phelan Field in the schools return to 3A football after two years.”Obviously, we were welcomed to the Western Slope very well,” Engle said. “These guys were very good. They’re very talented. For us, it’s a learning process. We were at the highest of highs last week and now we might be at the lowest of lows. Certainly, we thought we were prepared to win. We just ran into a a team that was better than us.”Moffat certainly validated its No. 5-ranking in the state, pounding away on the ground and through the air. As is often the case, the tale of the tape was turnovers. Battle Mountain’s Peter Van Dyke produced one in the Huskies’ end zone on Moffat’s first drive to stop the Bulldogs. But the Huskies proceeded to fumble four times and have one pick. And, as good teams do, Moffat made them pay.The Huskies fumbled the pitch on their second play from the line of scrimmage and Moffat’s Kellan Moore began to pound away on the ground. He ran four straight times, including a 2-yard touchdown and the Bulldogs led, 6-0.On Moffat’s next possession, Moore went 44 yards for a touchdown, and the theme for the evening was established. To start the second quarter, Bulldogs quarterback Derek Duran found Moore on a screen for 33 yards and a 20-0 lead. Moore finished with 16 carries for 145 yards and three touchdowns – two on the ground and one in the air.Battle Mountain fumbled on its next possession and Moffat marched 47 yards in 8 plays, capped by a 13-yard pass from Duran to Tyler Pike. Duran and Pike finished the half with a 45-yard combination for a 33-0 lead.The second half was much like the first. Battle Mountain’s first possession ended with a fumble. Moffat scored on the next play, a 45-yard rumble by Scott Garoutte. The Huskies next possession ended with a pick. It was Duran and Garoutte again for 13 yards and a touchdown, giving Moffat a 47-0 lead.Moffat finished the scoring with its backups. Andrew Drak hooked up with Cass Thompson for the final touchdown.The Huskies suffered key injuries to lineman Ken Roberts, Ben Smith and receiver/defensive back Phil Van Buren.”Defensively, we were having some trouble with them,” Engle said. “I think we were just a little bit frazzled as to what was coming at them. They’re wasn’t anything they did that we didn’t know what they were going to do, their counters, their off-tackles. We were just misaligned and just think our kids were trying really hard to make plays. Unfortunately, when you try hard, you press a bit, and we were pressing quite a bit. “It is a process for us. By no means are we done for the season. By no means was last week the pinnacle of what we were doing. They were a better football team.”Battle Mountain (0-1 in league and 1-1 overall) is at Montezuma-Cortez Friday. Chris Freud is the sports editor of the Vail Daily. He can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614, or via email@example.com.