Bears look to chop down No. 6 Conifer |

Bears look to chop down No. 6 Conifer

Jeff Caspersen
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Jeff Caspersen Post IndependentRifle senior Ryan Moeller drags a Palisade defender during last Thursday's game at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction. Moeller and the Bears, who defeated Palisade, 31-3, will host No. 6 Conifer on Friday.

Rifle aced a test against Palisade, Class 3A’s No. 2 football team at the time, last Thursday. It doesn’t get any easier for the Bears when No. 6 Conifer visits Rifle this Friday.

Kickoff at Bears Stadium is slated for 7 p.m. as Rifle puts its 6-0 record and No. 1 ranking in the latest Denver Post football poll on the line. The Bears beat Palisade last week, 31-3.

Conifer enters with a 5-1 record. The 3A Metro West squad racked up 659 yards in a 50-38 win over D’Evelyn on Saturday.

Matthew McClintock is the Lobos’ leading rusher with 765 yards and nine touchdowns this season. He erupted for 296 yards and four scores against D’Evelyn. AJ Eleniewski, who ran for 139 yards and a score in last week’s shootout win, has 487 yards and six TDs so far in 2012.

Four other Conifer players have rushed for 100 or more yards.

Rifle’s game is centered on its ground attack, too. And Ryan Moeller leads the way. According to, the senior tops all of Colorado football with 1,558 yards and 22 TDs.

Kellin Leigh and Isaac Rider also see their fair share of carries for the Bears. Leigh has 439 yards and six scores and Rider’s at 169 yards.

Rifle’s defense is putting together a historically dominant season. In six games, the Bears have surrendered a mere 15 points. They’ve shut out three of their six season foes and haven’t allowed more than six points in any one game.

Conifer’s only loss of the season was to Evergreen (17-10) in a Sept. 22 rivalry game.

Grand Valley rebounded from a tough Week 5 loss to Bayfield with a Week 6 thumping of Pagosa Springs.

In last Friday’s 45-19 win over the Pirates, quarterback Tyler Scott racked up 161 yards and four TDs on 8-of-15 passing and running back Tanner Zimmerman went off for 298 yards on the ground as the Cardinals improved to 5-1. They hold the No. 6 ranking in Class 2A.

Grand Valley will face Basalt (4-2) on Friday. Both teams are 3-1 in 2A WSL play and are tangled up in a four-way tie for second place. Coal Ridge and Aspen are also 3-1.

The Longhorns scored a 23-0 win over Olathe last week behind 116 yards on the ground from Cody Banc. Bert Garcia kicked three field goals for Basalt, which won for the third straight time.

Coal Ridge could substantially boost its playoff aspirations with a win over visiting Aspen on Friday.

The 4-2 Titans are coming off a 42-0 loss at 2A WSL-leading Bayfield last week. Aspen (5-1) pummeled Gunnison at home, 48-14.

At 3-1, both the Titans are Skiers are locked in a four-way tie with Grand Valley and Basalt for second place in the 2A WSL.

Glenwood Springs fell victim to Eagle Valley’s bruising ground game in a 42-28 loss to the Devils last weekend. This week, the Demons will look to right the ship tonight in a rare Thursday game at Moffat County.

Glenwood (2-4) desperately needs a win to have a shot at the postseason.

The host Bulldogs (3-3) are coming off a 33-0 win over Summit but are 1-3 in the 3A Western Slope League and have lost two of their last three games. The Demons are 2-3 in 3A WSL play.

Roaring Fork’s rough season continued with a 42-0 loss to No. 5 Cedaredge last week. On Friday, the 1-5 Rams head to Hotchkiss.

The No. 7 Bulldogs are 4-2 overall and 1-1 in the 1A WSL. Roaring Fork is 0-2 in 1A WSL play.

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