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Bears await playoff seeding after big victory

Chris Freud
cfreud@vaildaily.com
Rifle's Tristin Bina gets his hands on Eagle Valley's quarterback Harrison Stevens in the backfield for a sack during a game Friday night in Gypsum. The Bears beat the Devils, 47-0
jmccarty@vaildaily.com |

Rifle 47, Eagle Valley 0

Rifle 21 7 13 6 — 47

Devils 0 0 0 0 — 0

R – Javier Nunez 5 run (Eduardo Sandoval kick).

R – Nunez 8 run (Sandoval kick).

R – Layton Stutsman 1 run (Sandoval kick).

R – Brock Clark 31 run (Sandoval kick).

R – Stutsman 1 run (Sandoval kick).

R – Clark 5 run (kick failed).

R – Brooks Pressler 1 run (pass failed).

GYPSUM — Cue the Jeopardy music.

The question is: What number will Rifle High School’s football team get when CHSAA releases the Class 3A state-playoff bracket on Sunday?

Odds are the Bears will open on the road next Saturday, but they seemed pretty comfortable in Gypsum, dispatching Eagle Valley, 47-0. Rifle finished the regular season 8-2 and 7-1 in Class 3A Western Slope League play.

The Bears finished tied atop the league standings with Palisade (9-1, 7-1). Bu the Bulldogs, who defeated Rifle 28-27 earlier this season, have the head-to-head tiebreaker. Palisade beat Moffat County 47-8 Friday night to wrap up its regular season.

Rifle did have three turnovers during the first half, which will be fodder for coach Damon Wells in practice next week. When they held onto the ball, the Bears looked sharp on the ground. A 20-yard run by Kellin Leigh set up a Javier Nunez for a 5-yard touchdown scamper. Nunez was back 2 minutes later, this time taking it 8 yards for a TD for a 14-0 lead.

The Bears’ Bailey Hoffmeister ripped off a 51-yard scamper on their next possession. Rifle quarterback Layton Stutsman called his own number for a 1-yard plunge, and the Bears were up 21-0 after one quarter. Brock Clark raced 31 yards to the house before halftime to make it 28-0 at the half.

To start the second half, Eagle Valley’s Cristian Aguilar had a 51-yard run, but that drive stalled on the Rifle 10. The Bears responded with a lot of Nunez. The senior carried the rock eight times for 89 yards. He really should have been allowed to go the final 3 feet. But, apparently, Stutsman got the nod for the keeper and a 35-0 advantage.

The Bears got a scare during the third quarter when Nunez took a hard hit at the Devils’ 23. It appeared that he just got the wind knocked out of him. In his stead, Clark took it from 5 yards out for 41 Rifle points and the running clock.

As has been the case in losses to other upper echelon teams in the 3A Western Slope — Palisade, Delta and Glenwood Springs — Eagle Valley could get very little done in the trenches on both sides of the ball. As the Devils (5-5) look toward 2014, they will need to address both the offensive and defensive lines to be competitive in the rugged Slope.


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