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Bears hope magical season continues

Jeff Caspersen
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
JIM RYDBOM/jrydbom@greeleytribune.com
ALL |

Finding scout players to fill the roles of No. 5, No. 9 and No. 4 has been no easy task for Windsor head football coach Chris Jones.

The Rifle players who sport those numbers have terrorized many a defense in 2011. Eleven defenses, to be precise.

No. 5 is junior Ryan Moeller, a versatile back who can run through or around you. His 2,378 rushing yards lead all Colorado classifications and his 21 touchdowns rank him third in Class 3A according to MaxPreps.com.



No. 9 is the shifty, speedy Brandon Kittle. The senior has a far-from-pedestrian 1,253 yards and 18 scores to his name.

No. 4, aka Taylor Webb, is a threat on several fronts. The senior logs a carry here and there, and is the Bears’ most explosive receiving option in the passing game.



Moeller, Kittle and Webb are very much behind Rifle’s 11-0 record.

After devoting ample time to studying the Bears on film, Jones’ Wizards will see in person what the scrappy squad from the Western Slope is capable of in Saturday’s 3A state quarterfinal game. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. at Bears Stadium in Rifle.

And the Bears are so much more than No. 5, No. 9 and No. 4.

A defense led by the likes of linebackers Alex Copeland and Cody Beauford is also doing its part to fuel Rifle’s playoff run.

What about the Bears stands out most to Jones?

“I think their overall team speed is something we’re definitely going to have to do our best to contain,” he said. “They obviously practice pursuit drills very well. They take off and get to the ball as well as anybody we’ve faced all year.”

Since the bulk of Rifle’s regulars play on both sides of the ball, there’s no escaping that speed.

“It’s going to be an exciting matchup,” Jones said. “We’re going to have to go out there and work as hard as we can to be the best Windsor team we can be.”

And the Wizards are capable of being very good. At 10-1, they have been nothing short of spectacular all season long.

“I think it starts with our defense,” said Jones, whose team has surrendered a mere 101 points (9.2 per game). “That’s the thing I think both of us have pride in – our defense.”

Windsor boasts weapons at all levels of its defense.

Linebackers Lucas Watts, Trevor Miller and Sean McAvoy and defensive ends Jake Niess and Sean Glenn are terrors up front. Niess and Glenn are quarterback hunters, with 15.5 and 9.5 sacks, respectively.

“Those guys do a good job keeping pressure,” Jones said.

In the secondary, Lance Cox and Aaron Schmidt roam. Cox has 11 interceptions so far in 2011.

Options abound in the Wizards’ triple-option offense.

Led by quarterback Joe Sanger and his 1,020 rushing yards and 16 TDs, the Wizards run at teams with multiple backs. Wil Dressor, Jordan Porterfield, Vince Hooley and Schmidt all have more than 400 yards.

Blocking for those backs is Division I-caliber left tackle Joey O’Connor. The 6-foot-5, 297-pounder decommitted from Penn State last week in the wake of the university’s child sex-abuse scandal.

“We’re trying to keep that in check, too,” Jones said. “You name the college, they’ve been calling.”

But that’s just one in a series of challenges for Windsor. Stopping No. 5, No. 9, No. 4 and the Rifle Bears will no doubt be the toughest of all.

jcaspersen@postindependent.com


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