Game-winning field goal lifts Bears |

Game-winning field goal lifts Bears

RIFLE, Colorado – Squaring off against undefeated Battle Mountain Friday night, the Rifle Bears football team seemed to have a little help from above.

With 6 seconds left and facing a two-point deficit, Marco Gutierrez nailed a 45-yard field goal to propel the Bears to a 22-21 victory.

“We’re pretty darn happy right now,” Rifle coach Damon Wells said. “We believe that Austin Booth was looking down upon us. … There’s no doubt about it.”

Austin Booth was a star for Rifle last season, but died from the flu in January.

The Bears (4-0) definitely have Booth on their minds this season, and it shows in their inspired play.

In a back-and-forth struggle with Battle Mountain (3-1), Rifle displayed perseverance that would impress Sisyphus.

The Bears scored on a 4-yard touchdown run by Brandon Kittle in the first half, but found themselves behind, 7-6, at the half.

Kittle would find his way to the end zone two more times in the second half, matching the Huskies score for score.

Rifle got the ball back late, down 21-19, and began its march down the field. The Bears successfully converted two fourth-and-10s on the drive, leading up to Gutierrez’s mammoth game-winning kick.

Perhaps a little divine intervention helped nudge Rifle to its fourth victory.

“We’ve been very fortunate four weeks in a row,” Wells said. “But hey, we have Austin Booth on our side.”

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