Caldwell scores 4 TDs as Rifle gets first league win over Coal Ridge; Grand Valley tops Cedaredge
Senior quarterback/safety/punt returner Trey Caldwell used his legs to make up for some mistakes Rifle football made on Friday night and momentarily kept their hopes for a 2A state title alive.
Caldwell scrambled his way to four touchdowns to account for all of Rifle’s scores in a 28-7 win over local rival Coal Ridge. He paradoxically found the most room when plays fell apart, scrambling for two scores from more than 20 yards out on botched snaps. He converted a two-point conversion on his own after a failed handoff attempt to running back Toto Fletchall.
He even came up with a clutch run on fourth-and-long in the fourth quarter after the snap in the shotgun formation went over his head in Titan territory. The first down ate up more clock and helped Rifle pin Coal Ridge inside its own 5-yard line when the drive ended.
When the Titans punted, Caldwell carried that all the way back on his own.
“His biggest attribute is his legs,” Rifle head coach Ryan Whittington said. “He’s super athletic. He sees the field very well.”
Whittington said Caldwell’s ability to run made up for a tough night throwing, where completions were scarce on both sides.
The win took Rifle to 3-4 overall but gave them their first 2A league win since 2019 and a league record of 1-2. The team played 3A in the spring season, winning the state championship in the classification.
It’s taken some time for the team to adjust to Whittington’s system and the third coaching staff in as many seasons.
“It was tough when (former head coach Todd) Casebier left, just relearning every single play,” Caldwell said. “We’re figuring it out slowly.”
Caldwell said the team is close to putting it together. But time is running out.
There are only two games remaining in the season on successive Fridays, a road trip to Basalt and a home closer against Whittington’s former team, Delta.
Delta beat Basalt 42-14 on Friday night to improve to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in league play. They’re outscoring opponents 296-50 on the season, according to MaxPreps.
Following their own win, the Bears still had, for a short while, a chance at the league title. That changed when scores came in, and Delta and Moffat County both reported wins.
The two schools sit at 3-0 in league and meet next week, meaning at least one will win at least four games on the season, a mark that is out of the Bears’ reach.
However, there is still a path to the playoffs with a strong showing against two tough groups in the final weeks. If Rifle wants to repeat its state championship glory, it’ll have to pass two major tests to even get into the dance.
“We’re going to have to treat it like playoffs and just keep grinding,” Caldwell said.
Following the loss, Coal Ridge dropped to 0-7 on the season and will seek its first win at Aspen next Friday.
Coal Ridge football at Rifle, Oct. 15. | Rich Allen / Post Independent
Steamboat Springs 28, Glenwood Springs 27
The Glenwood Demons lost ground in the 3A Central West league, falling by one point in a hard-fought contest on the road at Steamboat Springs Friday night, 28-27.
Game scoring details were not available via Maxpreps, but the Sailors’ attack came mostly in the air as senior quarterback Jake Hamric was 25-for-38 passing for 379 yards and three touchdowns.
Demons’ game stats were not yet reported as of Sunday afternoon. Glenwood fell to 3-4 overall and is 0-2 in league, with three games left: Friday at Eagle Valley, Oct. 29 at home against league-leading Palisade, and closing out at home Nov. 5 against Battle Mountain.
Grand Valley 37, Cedaredge 6
The Grand Valley Cardinals picked up a big win in the 1A Western Slope race, toppling Cedaredge at home Friday night, 37-6.
Game details were not reported to Maxpreps. The Cardinals improved to 4-4 overall and 2-3 in league play. Next up is a road trip to play Olathe on Oct. 29.
North Fork 54, Roaring Fork 6
The North Fork Miners stayed in the hunt for a 1A Western Slope League title, downing Roaring Fork in Carbondale Friday, 54-6.
Roaring Fork (1-6 overall, 1-3 in league) got its only touchdown from sophomore quarterback Max Bollock, who carried it into the end zone late in the game. Rams senior Blake Thomas had 44 yards on four carries for the night, and senior Henry Richardson reeled in three passes for 60 yards, including a long of 48 yards.
North Fork and Meeker both sit at 5-2 overall, but Meeker has the edge staying undefeated in the 1A ranks at 5-0 after a 28-12 win at Gunnison Friday.
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