Bulldogs hit hard by 41-0 loss to Rifle | PostIndependent.com

Bulldogs hit hard by 41-0 loss to Rifle

Rifle High School senior Ty Leyba charges toward Moffat County defender Eddie Smercina (44) during the Bears' Friday night game in Craig. Rifle moved to 2-0 with 41-point shutout of the Bulldogs.
David Pressgrove / Craig Daily Press |

The Bulldogs knew they were in for one of the tougher matches of the season Friday night, but that didn’t make the eventual defeat any easier to take.

Moffat County High School moved to 1-1 after a 41-0 loss to Rifle at the Bulldog Proving Grounds.

The Bears’ rush game proved too much for Moffat County, as Rifle’s running backs found the end zone repeatedly, most notably Tyler Bosshardt who crossed the goal line three times in the first half, the longest of which was an 89-yard jaunt not long after a loss of the ball for Moffat County that was ruled a fumble recovery for the boys in blue and gold.

Bosshardt was also responsible for an end zone interception in the third quarter that robbed the Craig kids of what looked like a certain score.

Misfortune struck MCHS repeatedly despite many starts at a rally, particularly in the fourth quarter, as quarterback Keenan Hildebrandt and company started at the 1-yard line and began picking up momentum starting with a 16-yard catch by Shandon Hadley that got them some breathing room.

Hadley was bound for the end zone minutes later with a 35-yard rush that put the Bulldogs in scoring position, but the combination of Rifle D and a running clock stamped out the chance of avoiding the shutout.

Citing a bad week of practice, head coach Keith Gille said he blamed one person for the loss: himself.

“I didn’t have my boys where they needed to be on defense, it’s all on me,” he said. “For whatever reason, I thought we could slug away with them, but we didn’t adjust, we didn’t shift, I did a lousy job, and I apologize to everyone.”

MCHS plays its first road game and only Saturday game Sept. 12 in Watkins at Ridge View Academy.

The Bears improve to 2-0 as head coach Damon Wells officially returned to the sidelines for a game he found most satisfactory.

“We still feel like we left some opportunities out there, but when you’re dealing with high school kids you’re never going to take a snapshot. This is a work in progress all the time.”

A game Friday against the Jefferson Saints of Edgewater will be the last non-conference game before a bye week that leads into league play against Eagle Valley.

A point to work on in the weeks to come is cutting down on penalties, Wells noted, as far too many yards were lost by illegal holds.

“We’re going to have be a lot more disciplined,” he said.

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