Caldwell scores 4 TDs as Rifle gets first league win | PostIndependent.com
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Caldwell scores 4 TDs as Rifle gets first league win

Senior quarterback Trey Caldwell rushes the ball for Rifle football in the team’s home win over Coal Ridge on Oct. 15.
Rich Allen / Post Independent

Senior quarterback/safety/punt returner Trey Caldwell used his legs to make up for some mistakes Rifle football made on Friday night and momentarily kept their hopes for a 2A state title alive.

Caldwell scrambled his way to four touchdowns to account for all of Rifle’s scores in a 28-7 win over local rival Coal Ridge. He paradoxically found the most room when plays fell apart, scrambling for two scores from more than 20 yards out on botched snaps. He converted a two-point conversion on his own after a failed handoff attempt to running back Toto Fletchall.

He even came up with a clutch run on fourth-and-long in the fourth quarter after the snap in the shotgun formation went over his head in Titan territory. The first down ate up more clock and helped Rifle pin Coal Ridge inside their own five yard line when the drive ended.



When the Titans punted, Caldwell carried that all the way back on his own.

“His biggest attribute is his legs,” Rifle head coach Ryan Whittington said. “He’s super athletic. He sees the field very well.”



Senior quarterback Trey Caldwell rushes the ball for Rifle football in the team’s home win over Coal Ridge on Oct. 15.
Rich Allen / Post Independent

Whittington said Caldwell’s ability to run made up for a tough night throwing, where completions were scarce on both sides.

The win took Rifle to 3-4 overall but gave them their first 2A league win since 2019 and a league record of 1-2. The team played 3A in the spring season, winning the state championship in the classification.

It’s taken some time for the team to adjust to Whittington’s system and the third coaching staff in as many seasons.

“It was tough when (former head coach Todd) Casebier left, just relearning every single play,” Caldwell said. “We’re figuring it out slowly.”

Caldwell said the team is close to putting it together. But, time is running out.

There are only two games remaining in the season, a road trip to Basalt and hosting Whittington’s former team Delta on successive Fridays.

Delta beat Basalt 42-14 on Friday night to improve to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in league play. They’re outscoring opponents 296-50 on the season according to MaxPreps.

Following their own win, the Bears had, for a short while, still a chance at the league title. That changed when scores came in and Delta and Moffat County both reported wins.

The two schools sit at 3-0 in league and meet next week, meaning at least one will win at least four games on the season, a mark that is out of the Bears’ reach.

However, there is still a path to the playoffs with a strong showing against two tough groups in the final weeks. If Rifle wants to repeat its state championship glory, they’ll have to pass two major tests to even get into the dance.

“We’re going to have to treat it like playoffs and just keep grinding,” Caldwell said.

Following the loss, Coal Ridge dropped to 0-7 on the season and will seek its first win at Aspen next Friday.


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