Bears Football Notebook
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Pueblo East, Rifle’s opponent in next weekend’s 3A football state semifinals, comes in with a 10-2 overall record.
The fifth-seeded Eagles hung on for a 35-24 win at No. 13 Delta on Saturday to earn a date with the Bears.
Pueblo East, which plays in the Southern League, lost to only Discovery Canyon (29-19) on Aug. 31 and to The Classical Academy (37-33) on Oct. 11.
In Class 3A’s other semifinal, No. 10 Silver Creek (10-2) and No. 6 Conifer (10-2) will square off for a spot in the state title game.
Conifer knocked off No. 14 Eagle Valley, 16-10, in Saturday’s quarterfinals. Silver Creek ousted No. 15 Pueblo Central, 27-12.
Rifle’s coaches and players will go to work quickly preparing for their trip to Pueblo East.
“Our coaches will probably put in a ton of hours this weekend and we’ll get prepared for next Saturday,” Bears senior quarterback Adam Rice said. “I bet our coaches put in more time than any other coaching staff in the state.”
Said defensive coordinator Anthony Alfini: “We spend quite a bit of time getting ready for the next team we’re going to face. Last week, we started at 7 o’clock in the morning.”
But it all pays off.
“We know everything they might possibly do,” Rice said. “It helps us be successful on the field.”
Roosevelt, which makes its living with long, clock-grinding drives, would fit in well in the 3A Western Slope League.
So says Rifle head coach Damon Wells.
“We knew that they had a fantastic staff and their kids are tough. We’ve often made mention that it seems like their style of football would fit in really well in our league.
“We’re really happy they’re not in our league, though. I don’t know how much more we could take.”
Rifle junior Clayton Coombs knew what was at stake as his team played defense on the final drive of Saturday’s quarterfinal game.
As he watched Ryan Moeller dart toward the end zone on a game-winning interception return, Coombs and his teammates could finally celebrate.
“We were going crazy,” he said. “We knew we had to shut them down.”
The end result: The Bears get to spend Thanksgiving week with each other.
“It just keeps us together moving forward,” he said. “Another seven days.”
Added fellow junior Bailey Hoffmeister: “It was a great game. We’re looking forward to seven more days with the team.”
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Area prep basketball teams begin their 2019-20 campaigns with tournament action both home and away this weekend.