Bears run away from Titans early in rout

Jon Mitchell
Post Independent Sports Editor
Staff Photo |

Rifle 54, Coal Ridge 6

Coal Ridge 0 0 0 6 — 6

Rifle 33 14 7 0 — 54

First Quarter

R — Kellin Leigh 5 run (Eduardo Sandoval kick).

R — Leigh 55 run (kick failed).

R — Leigh 27 run (kick failed).

R — Brock Clark 80 run (Sandoval kick).

R — Leigh 25 pass from Layton Stutsman (Sandoval kick).

R — Clark 11 run (Sandoval kick).

R — Clark 11 run (Sandoval kick).

R — Stutsman 3 run (Sandoval kick).

CR — Jerome Pizelli 27 pass from Trevor Wade (no attempt).

RIFLE — Rifle High School’s football team found all kinds of imperfections in what, on paper, seemed like a perfect way for the Bears to start the season Friday night.

Brock Clark rushed for 158 yards and three touchdowns and Kellin Leigh found the end zone four times, as Rifle rolled to a season-opening 54-6 victory over Coal Ridge on Friday night.

Not that something like that impressed Bears coach Damon Wells, though.

“How many penalties did we have? Like, 20?” Wells lamented after the game. “I thought we were really sloppy tonight.”

Leigh rushed for 87 yards on just four attempts, scoring on TD runs of 5, 55 and 22 yards. He also found the end zone on a 25-yard reception from Layton Stutsman that gave second-ranked Rifle (1-0) a 33-0 lead by the end of the first quarter.

The Bears didn’t have 20 penalties, though. They had six, with one of them negating an 63-yard touchdown run from Stutsman in the first half.

No matter. The Bears found a way to quickly overcome that particular mistake, implementing the 40-point mercy rule five plays later on the first of Clark’s two 11-yard TD runs.

“We can’t come into Game 1 thinking we’re any tougher than any team in this league,” Leigh said. “We had to come in with an open mind and do what we do.”

Rifle’s defense did it’s part, too. The Bears limited the Titans (0-1) to minus-4 yards on the ground. Their lone score came on a 27-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Trevor Wade to senior receiver Jerome Pizelli with no time remaining on the clock.

“I thought that we were going to give them a little better showing than what we did,” Coal Ridge coach Kyle Sager said. “But hat’s off to Rifle. They have a great program.

“Their offense is kind of like novocaine,” Sager continued. “They run what they run and no matter what, it always seems to work.”

Rifle didn’t need much to get started on offense. Coal Ridge went three-and-out on its first possession, and a bad snap on the ensuing punt was recovered by Rifle’s Cody Rice. Leigh ran it in from 5 yards out on the next play, giving the Bears the lead for good.

Rifle forced another three-and-out before going up 13-0 on Leigh’s 55-yard jaunt with 7:50 left in the first quarter. And after a 27-yard TD run from Leigh, following an interception by Wyatt Kinion, Clark, a junior, zigged and zagged up the left sideline on his way to an 80-yard score.

“Well, the offensive line is doing a great job just like they did last year,” Clark said. “That’s the reason for our success.”

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