Eagle Valley no match for fired-up Bears’ defense
RIFLE, Colorado – A focused Rifle Bears football team dismantled visiting Eagle Valley (1-3 overall, 1-1 in 3A Western Slope League play) to the tune of 41-12 on homecoming Friday night.
The Bears’ (5-0, 2-0 3A WSL) defense stifled the Devils’ offense, while Rifle runners commanded the field, scoring five touchdowns on the night.
Senior Brandon Kittle scored three rushing TDs and junior Ryan Moeller added two more on a night that saw the Bears go up 34-0 at the half.
Senior A.J. Cordova also hauled in a TD pass from junior quarterback Adam Rice.
“Our kids played pretty well,” Rifle head coach Damon Wells said. “Our defense was key for us tonight. We had a shutout until the final minutes.”
Special teams came up big, too.
With last week’s hero Marco Gutierrez – who kicked a game-winning 45-yard field goal to beat Battle Mountain last week – out with an injury, senior kicker Javier Peralta stepped in to fill his shoes.
And lucky shoes they were.
Rifle recovered three onside kicks on the night – not all by design, however.
“Not all of those kicks were by design,” Wells said. “One was kind of fluky. It took a bounce off of an Eagle Valley player and we pounced on it.”
While the ball seems to be bouncing in Rifle’s favor this season, the Bears know that they still have to fight to make the postseason.
Last year, Rifle started the season 6-1, only to lose three straight and narrowly miss the playoffs.
The Bears will take nothing for granted this fall.
“We still have work to do,” Wells said. “We’re not throwing any parades. We’ve got to work like crazy to prepare for Steamboat next week.”
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