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Why Durango football will continue undefeated streak against Bayfield

Increased focus after last week’s loss will help Demons

The Durango High School football team has never lost to nearby Bayfield, and the Demons have no intentions of letting the 15-game unbeaten streak come to an end when the two teams meet Friday night at Wolverine Country Stadium in Bayfield.

While the Demons have never lost to their La Plata County counterpart, an 80-year layoff between games helped keep their streak intact. Last year, the first meeting between the two since the Great Depression, Durango came away with a 14-6 overtime victory on the Demons’ homecoming and moved to 14-0-1 against Bayfield. This year, it’s Bayfield’s homecoming, which will only add to the excitement surrounding the game.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Durango senior Gavin Mestas said. “We’re going to be play crosstown rivals and a lot of people are going to be there. We just want to go out and play our game. If we stick to our game plan, we should be pretty good. We just have to focus.”

Bayfield could present the toughest test for No. 8 Durango this season, at least up until this point. The Wolverines are ranked second in the state in the 2A classification and haven’t had much trouble picking up wins in their three games this year. They boast a powerful running game with a threatening air attack on offense while the defense has notched 17 sacks, nine interceptions and has given up little in terms of success for opposing teams’ running game.

But the Demons may have the antidote for the Wolverines.

The Demons have faced two power running teams in Delta and Farmington’s Piedra Vista this season. They squashed the rush and won both games behind shutouts from the defense.

Bayfield has shown the capability of torching teams with its passing game. Quarterback Hayden Farmer set the school record with six passing touchdowns earlier this season against Bloomfield. But Durango’s defense isn’t Bloomfield’s, and the Demons’ secondary has shown it’s capable of locking down opposing receivers, as it did three weeks ago in a 35-14 win against Aztec – the only common opponent between DHS and BHS this season. Bayfield beat Aztec 48-21 two weeks ago in Aztec.

“It’s kind of the perfect storm,” Durango head coach David Vogt said. “What they’re good at we’re good at stopping, and what we’re good at doing they’re good at stopping as well. It’s probably going to be like that Delta game – just smash-mouth football.”

The only time the Durango defense hasn’t look stellar was in last week’s 34-7 loss to Farmington – a game many of the Demons didn’t seem to care all that much about.

“We just weren’t focused in general,” Mestas said of the Farmington game. “We were sidetracked and got too big of heads because we were 3-0. We thought that was such a big achievement and we thought we could just roll through teams.”

It was a valuable lesson for the Demons to learn, especially the week before a rivalry game. With two such evenly matched teams, the real difference might come down to what team makes the fewest mistakes.

“This is a huge game and it could be a turning point in the season,” Vogt said. “It’s all about being mentally ready and not making mistakes. If we do what we’re supposed to do and we have them coached up and they give all-out effort like I know they can and they did in the first three games, then I think we’ll be just fine.”

All the pressure is on Bayfield to become the first team to beat the Demons, and at some point that pressure could lead to a costly mistake by the Wolverines.

Durango wins 17-13.

kschneider@durangoherald.com

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