High-flying Demons take on running Bears | PostIndependent.com

High-flying Demons take on running Bears

Joelle MilholmGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

Two top-10 teams.Both 3-0 overall.Two rivals separated by 30 miles.Football doesn’t get any better than that.

That will be the scenario on Friday night when the No. 7-ranked Glenwood Demons (according to RockyPreps) host the No. 5 Rifle Bears at 7 p.m. at Stubler Memorial Field. Glenwood, led by Dakota Stonehouse and the Demons high-flying offense, hasn’t faced the toughest challenges thus far this season, playing Class 2A Roaring Fork (0-3), WSL opponent Cortez (1-3) and nonleague Denver West (0-3). The Demons have won the games by an average score of 39-9. Stonehouse ranks near the top of 3A leaders, completing 38 of 54 passes this season for 570 yards and seven touchdowns. Running back Michael Hudson has been chewing up a lot of ground, giving Glenwood a balanced attack.”(We are a) double threat,” Stonehouse said. “The running game is doing really good. The passing game is good. We have awesome receivers that are fast and get open.”

Rifle figures to be Glenwood’s first worthy opponent.”We are going to have to play our best game ever to get by Rifle. That is for sure,” said Glenwood head coach Rocky Whitworth.Rifle, which has beat Valley (0-3), Delta (1-2) and Cortez (1-3) this season, has a team full of strong players aiming to get the Bears into the playoffs for the 13th straight year. “Our singular goal remains to be still playing in the playoffs,” said Rifle head coach Damon Wells. “We care about whatever might be necessary to get to that point.”

Bear quarterback Hazen Moss has thrown, rushed and returned a punt for touchdowns this season, but is the biggest threat running the ball. Tyler Chapman’s rushing averages near 100 yards each game and Daniel Maldonado has scored in each game for the Bears.”I expect Rifle to be physical, a ball-control type team. I expect them to be really solid on defense, too,” Whitworth said. “If we can control the ball and play some defense to slow down that ground game of theirs, we can be competitive.”Competitive is an understatement when considering the last three match-ups between the Bears and Demons have been decided by a total of eight points. “It is going to be a really rough match-up all across the board,” Whitworth said. “We are going to have to control he ball, too, and the past couple years it has come down to the last few plays.”

Last year, Rifle won 13-10 on a last-second field goal on a cold and rainy night in Rifle. The Bears went on to the quarterfinals of the state playoffs in 2006 before falling to eventual state champion Alamosa. That loss is still fresh in the Bears minds.We have prepared since the day after we lost to Alamosa in the quarterfinals to be 3-0,” Wells said. “We hope we can continue to improve on a daily basis because we are definitely still a work in progress.”Both teams will be looking to stay undefeated this season when the Bears and Demons take the field on Friday, but they will also be looking for bragging rights. “Those close proximity games, Roaring Fork and Rifle, they’re really fun for the players and the community and give some extra motivation,” Whitworth said.

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