Coal Ridge, Rifle boys soccer teams score key wins as playoffs near

Coal Ridge senior Ezra Williams (7) looks to maintain control of the ball against a Basalt defender in the Titans 8-2 win over the Longhorns on Oct. 13.
Fil Meraz/Courtesy photo

The Rifle and Coal Ridge high school boys soccer teams are slated for a big 3A Western Slope League game Thursday that carries major post-season implications for both squads, as the Bears and Titans both bring top-20 rankings into the final week of the regular season.

Coal Ridge scored a pair of big league wins last week over Basalt and Delta, putting them on the brink of another league title. But the defending state champion Roaring Fork Rams aren’t backing down, after scoring a 3-2 win over Basalt on Tuesday, and Rifle also comes into the Thursday match on a winning streak.

After a non-league win over Palisade 6-0 on Oct. 11, Coal Ridge returned to the home field Thursday to score an 8-2 win over the Basalt Longhorns.

Against Basalt, senior Ezra Williams scored four goals and senior Fil Meraz and junior Alexis Serna had two goals each, as Coal Ridge dominated their league foes.

On the road at Delta last Saturday, the Titans scored a 4-0 shutout to improve to 6-0-1 in the 3A league and 11-1-2 overall.

The Titans are now ranked third in the state among 3A teams with a No. 5 power ranking. They close out the season against Rifle, sitting at No. 16 in the 3A power rankings, at 4 p.m. Thursday at home. A win secures the league title for Coal Ridge. Roaring Fork is ranked fifth overall with a No. 4 power ranking.

Rifle (9-3, 6-2) currently sits in third place in the league behind Coal Ridge and Roaring Fork.

The Bears this past week scored an 11-1 win over Moffat County on Oct. 13 and won 4-2 at home over Gunnison on Saturday.

Rifle softball falls in 4A regionals

Playing in the 4A state regional round on Friday, the No. 18 Rifle High School Lady Bears softball team lost 7-2 to No. 15 Pueblo County in the first game, then to No. 31 Falcon 9-5. 

Rifle had it tied 4-4 against Falcon when the Bears scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth. A run apiece in the sixth for Falcon and for Rifle in the seventh sent it to extra innings.

The Falcons scored four runs in the top of the ninth on four Rifle errors, and the Bears couldn’t answer in the bottom half, handing the win to the lower seed.

Rifle freshman Brynn Axelson was 2-for-5 with one RBI and junior Brooklyn Dennis was 2-for-4, also with a RBI.

Post-season honors went to senior Hailey Worton, who shared the 4A WSL Player-of-the-Year accolades with Anna Baker of Eagle Valley and Mikayla Talbott from Palisade.

First-team selections from the Bears also went to junior Emma Speakman, junior Zoe Hisel and to Axelson. Dennis earned honorable mention.

Friday night lights recap

The only home game for Garfield County teams last Friday took Coal Ridge to Grand Valley, where the Cardinals came away 27-14 winners.

Cardinals senior Colton Clark rushed for one of the home team’s touchdowns, and junior Braden Allen had a touchdown off of an interception return for the Cardinals.

Grand Valley improved to 4-3 overall and is 2-1 in the 2A League behind undefeated Basalt, 34-20 winners over Moffat County on the road on Friday. The Longhorns are currently ranked fourth in the state among 2A teams.

Coal Ridge falls to 2-5 overall, 0-3 in the 2A league. The Titans face Basalt on the road Friday, and close out Oct. 28 at home against Rifle.

Rifle was on the road last Friday, winning 43-7 at Aspen. The Bears improved to 3-4 and stand at 1-2 in the 2A league.  

Rifle volleyball scores wins

The Rifle High volleyball team (10-7, 4-2) continues to post wins in a successful season that finds them in second place behind Delta in the 3A WSL. In action this past week, the Lady Bears: 

In tournament action, won 2-1 over Basalt (25-23, 23-25, 15-10); won 2-1 over Conifer (25-15, 21-25, 15-4); lost 1-2 to Summit (12-25, 25-21, 9-15); and lost 1-2 to Roaring Fork (25-22, 20-25, 15-10).

And, in league play, the Bears won 3-1 over Roaring Fork (25-11, 23-25, 25-16, 25-16) and won 3-0 over Gunnison (25-14, 25-16, 25-17)

Coal Ridge results

The Coal Ridge volleyball team fell to 1-16 on the season, dropping four straight this past week: 0-3 to Moffat County (20-25, 17-25, 22-25); 0-3 to University (20-25, 22-25, 21-25); 0-3 to Montrose (18-25, 21-25, 17-25); and 0-3 to Aspen (20-25, 20-25, 19-25).

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