Jon Mitchell

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September 19, 2012
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Running a team job for the Bears

Ryan Moeller isn't the only running back who carries the ball for the Rifle High School football team.

Granted, the senior did have his share of touches, rushing 33 times for 323 yards with three touchdowns, the final TD jaunt coming from 74 yards out, in the top-ranked Bears' 28-0 victory over rival Glenwood Springs this past Friday.

The Bears, however, showed they're diverse at the running back position. Four other players carried the ball for Rifle, including 12 carries, 49 yards and a touchdown from junior Kellin Leigh.

Moeller is OK with that, especially since he feels everyone's contributions go toward the team's greater good.

"Everyone sets each other up for success, it's not just setting me up," Moeller said. "It's like working at a factory where someone has to cut the piece of wood or move something around so someone can end up getting what they need. Everyone just does their job."

Whatever job each of the Bears has, it has helped Moeller amass 992 rushing yards going into Friday's Class 3A Western Slope League game at Montezuma-Cortez (0-3, 0-2). Not that Moeller thinks about that kind of stuff, though.

"If you start thinking about those kind of things, you start getting a big head and don't do as well as you think you can," Moeller said. "You have to stay focused on what you're doing and how you can get better. If you start thinking about the numbers, it's not going to help you out any."

There's plenty of big numbers Moeller doesn't think about, like the 330.7 yards per game average that leads all classifications in Colorado. The next closest rusher to Moeller is senior Trevor Chintala of six-man Fleming, who has racked up 775 yards through three games, according to statistics from

The big number the Bears really care about, however, is their 2-0 record in league play - not necessarily the No. 1 ranking the Denver Post gave them following their season-opening win over Coal Ridge. They'll have to put that up against a long road trip to the Four Corners area in an effort to trip up the winless Panthers.

"The long road trip doesn't concern me," Rifle coach Damon Wells said. "We've made long road trips for playoff games before, so we're familiar with it. All we have to focus on is maintaining our level of play so far."

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The Post Independent Updated Sep 19, 2012 06:39PM Published Sep 19, 2012 06:36PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.