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Football season now in full swing for local schools

It’s Week Two of the Colorado High School Activities Association’s football season for the Grand Valley Cardinals, Roaring Fork Rams and the Coal Ridge Titans, but for the Rifle Bears it’s a pivotal Week Three.

Heading into Friday’s matchups, the Bears sit at a pristine 2-0, while the Cardinals are 1-0 on the young season. Unfortunately for Coal Ridge and Roaring Fork, the Titans and Rams sit at 0-1.

Rifle (2-0) at Florence (0-1), 7 p.m.

In a rematch of state championship games in 2004 and 2005, the Rifle Bears hit the road to Florence for a matchup with the Huskies for a Week Three showdown.

Last week, Rifle pulled away for a 14-point win at home over the Montrose Indians, 40-26. Florence dropped its first game of the season last week on the road at Alamosa, 21-16.

It will be status quo for the Bears, who are a power-running team that relies on ball control and stout defense. Should Rifle be able to replicate that game plan once again they’ll most likely move to 3-0 on the season with a big win on the road.

Grand Valley (1-0) vs. Basalt (0-1), 7:30 p.m.

Make it two wins in a row for the Cardinals, dating back to the end of the 2015 season. Last week against Vail Christian at their new football facility, the Cardinals rolled to a 46-6 win behind a great all-around game from Jeff Holbrook on offense and a five-interception, eight-sack performance from a stout defense.

Now, the Cardinals will host the Basalt Longhorns (0-1), who will travel to Parachute after enjoying an off week last week following a 48-34 loss to Rifle to open the season.

Basalt comes in with a great passing game led by Miles Levy and Kyle Roberts, so the Grand Valley secondary will have to come up with a big performance yet again.

Coal Ridge (0-1) at Hotchkiss (1-0), 7 p.m.

Things didn’t start out as planned in the 2016 season for the Coal Ridge Titans, who dropped their home opener to the visiting Meeker Cowboys last week, 30-14, behind a fumble at the 1-yard line and a lost battle in the trenches.

They’ll look to change their fortunes this week with a road trip to Hotchkiss to take on the road against the Bulldogs, who are coming off of a 40-8 win over Dolores last week.

Fortunately for the Titans, they’re a much more balanced offense this year thanks to the emergence of a passing game with Jackson Sargent, Jacob Morgan, Cameron Chacon and Raul Ramirez.

With the goal of a playoff berth looming overhead this season, the Titans need to get on track this week.

Roaring Fork (0-1) at Battle Mountain (1-0), 7 p.m.

Roaring Fork dropped a tough one to start the season, falling at home to Olathe, 40-21. Now, with a full week to prepare for the Huskies on the road, the Rams are looking to get back into the win column early in the 2016 season.

The Rams have veteran leaders in quarterback Hayden Bernot and do-everything athlete Aldo Pinela to pair with Jorge Gomez and Alex Dominguez, so for Roaring Fork to get in the win column, expect those four to play prominent roles tonight.


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