Vail Valley football: Moffat County rolls past Eagle Valley, 34-14
GYPSUM – Most playbooks don’t come with scenarios for first-and-19, and a defense is generally hard-pressed when faced with a short field regularly.
These were the challenges Eagle Valley faced in a 34-14 loss to Moffat County Friday night at Hot Stuff Stadium in Gypsum.
“You can’t even compete with a team if you make mistakes like that. Way too many mistakes,” said Eagle Valley coach John Ramunno, whose team fell to 2-6 with the loss. “Our team has struggled with that all year. If we get a holding call, it sets our offense back.
“We talked all week about how their blockers were going go from one position to shift into their stance and go quick. I don’t know how many jumps we had. Five or six? I really think, if kids really want to win, it’s got to come all through the week. You can’t expect to have it Friday night.”
Eagle Valley had five procedure calls, which either gave Moffat five yards or set the Devils back the same distance, as well as three holding calls on offense, which were drive-killers. The Devils turned the ball over three times and had two other fumbles which they recovered, but losses on those play might as well been flags too because they had the same effect.
Throw in Moffat’s power running game, and it wasn’t what Eagle Valley wanted for Senior Night.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Bulldogs got on the board behind a 1-yard run from Hodge Raftopoulos. Eagle Valley fumbled on its first play on the ensuing possession, and Moffat marched for 10 plays and six when quarterback Bubba Ivers called his number from 1 yard out.
After an interception by Zach Raftopoulos, Moffat struck again, this time capped by a 2-yarder from Hodge Raftopoulos to lead at the half, 21-0.
Eagle Valley showed some life on its first possession of the second half with a 75-yard drive. Matt Kottenstette ran and James VanDyke passed with efficiency. The final play of the drive was a perfectly-set screen from Van Dyke to Miguel Dominguez for a touchdown. Give major credit there, too, to Cole Nielsen, who threw a monster block to make that play happen.
The Devils’ defense turned Moffat away on its next possession and the Devils looked like they were mounting a drive to get back into the game. But a holding call and later a recovered fumble and sack on back-to-back plays snuffed that chance.
With Moffat running so well, Eagle Valley packed all 11 players into the box, but Ivers busted that scheme with a 68-yard TD run and a 27-7 lead. The Devils got a score late on a 15-yard pass from VanDyke to Nikk Soto.
Before the game, seniors David Macias, Ian Bailey, VanDyke, Rafael Macias, Dominguez, Kottenstette, Mervin Vargas, Christian Cruz, Zeth Ramsey, Ethan Arnold, Bryce Steggall and Brandon Hudspeth were introduced.
Eagle Valley will try to send those seniors out in better fashion when they head to Edwards next week for the annual grudge match with Battle Mountain.
“We just hope our kids can save their best for last,” Ramunno said. “I really don’t feel our guys have played their best game this year. I’d hate to look back and say Steamboat was our best game. But hopefully, we can rally and finish on a good note.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.