Bears have work cut out for them against Florence |

Bears have work cut out for them against Florence

Rifle’s headed back to the big game.

For the second consecutive year, the Bears (8-4) will be playing in the Class 3A State Championship game. But finding the same winning results the team had last year could be difficult, as the Bears will be facing Florence.

Florence (12-1) beat Alamosa, 26-12, in the other semifinal Saturday and will travel to Bears Stadium this Saturday for the title game.

Florence finished the regular season as Southern League Champions, posting a perfect 6-0 record, and its only loss came against Montrose on Sept. 9, 27-12. The Huskies then beat Berthoud, 42-0, in the first round of state, before topping Palisade, 41-7, in last week’s quarterfinals.

Although the Huskies only scored 26 points against Alamosa, they are normally an offensive powerhouse, averaging a over 44 points per game.

Florence is led by star quarterback Jeremy Young, whose ability to run the ball and run it well, makes him a very dangerous threat. Prior to Saturday’s game, Young has rushed for 1,178 yards, while still throwing for 1,471 yards and 16 touchdowns with only two interceptions.

Running back Brandon Ridgeway has also piled on more than 1,000 yards this season as the Huskies offense is fueled by a strong rotation of the two ” much similar to the Tyler Thompson-Bryce Enewold combination in the Bear’s backfield.

Cody Bennett is Young’s favorite target, pulling in 46 receptions for 1,110 yards before Saturday’s game with Alamosa.

On defense, the Huskies are just as tough, forcing opponents to fumble 11 times and throw 16 interceptions this season. It has also caused 20 sacks and is led by Frank Morelli who leads the team with 141 tackles.

The Bears and Huskies have faced two similar teams this year and while both of them beat Elizabeth, Rifle lost to Palisade in the regular season and Florence was able to bury them in the playoffs.

Florence did not make it to the state championship last year, but was runner-up in 2003 and state champ in 2002.

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