Former Bears set for college playoff action |

Former Bears set for college playoff action

Staff Report

A number of area football players moved to the college level after wrapping up their prep careers.Three Rifle players are taking their college experience to the next level this weekend as part of the Mesa State Mavericks squad.Alfonso Alfini, Justin Brun and Ryan Whittington are all expected to be in the lineup this weekend when the Mavericks host Central Oklahoma at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction in the opening round of the NCAA Division II football playoffs.The contest is a rematch of the regular-season opener for the Mavericks, when the Bronchos defeated Mesa State 42-16 in Edmond, Okla. Since that game, Mesa has gone on a 10-game win streak and wrapped up the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference title. The Mavericks (10-1) enter Saturdays game ranked 10th in the nation with the No. 1 seed in the four-team west regional. The Bronchos (8-2) are the fourth seed.The former Bears have played a large part in the Mavericks success this season.Alfini, a junior fullback, is ranked third on the team with a 4.5-yards per carry average and 317 yards on the season. But his big impact has been blocking for the Mesa State option attack. The Mavericks are ranked third in the nation rushing with a 303-yard average.Brun, a sophomore, has played in five games this season on the defensive line and notched 11⁄2 sacks, a fumble recovery and 13 tackles.Whittington, a redshirt freshman, has played primarily on special teams. Hes seen action in nine games this season and amassed 19 tackles and one blocked kick.Texas A&M-Kingsville (9-1) and Tarleton State (8-3) are playing in the other west regional matchup. The Division II title game is slated for Dec. 13 at Braly Municipal Stadium in Florence, Ala.For playoff ticket information, call (970) 248-1503.

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