Rifle DB Alderson puts name below the title | PostIndependent.com
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Rifle DB Alderson puts name below the title

Phil Sandoval
Post Independent Photo/Kara K. PearsonNiowot's Grant Overs, left, fails to catch Rifle's John Alderson as he runs an interception in for a touchdown during Saturday's Class 3A semifinal game. The Bears won, 23-20.
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RIFLE – John Alderson has assimilated to being a no-name.Like the rest of his teammates, the lanky wide receiver/defensive back prefers being associated with the word “Rifle” on the front of his football jersey rather than becoming an individual star.”It’s taken hard word and dedication for us to be a good team,” he said. “We’ve busted out butts to put it together.”

On Saturday, Alderson and the guys have one battle left to win. A victory over Sterling on Saturday at Bears Stadium would give Rifle its first state football championship in 31 years.While Alderson is the first to downplay his role in Rifle’s 23-20 semifinal win over Niwot, he was involved in two pivotal plays that turned the contest.The senior’s 18-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter gave Rifle a much-needed 17-7 lead after seeing a 10-point cushion shrink to three at halftime.Later in the period, Alderson helped seal the victory with a 43-yard interception return for a score on a deflected pass off Niwot receiver Aaron Watson.

“It was God’s luck and good grace,” Alderson said of the play. “I was playing back a deep third, just like the other DBs were, and I was just in the right spot to make the play, I guess.”That’s the way Rifle plays. There’s no star on either side of the ball. They just happen to make the right play at the right time.”Our defense isn’t based around one person,” Alderson said. “We don’t play the same defense twice in a game, we’re always changing something.”And, Sterling will test the Bears defense, Alderson said.

“Their quarterback (Jeff Squire) is very good and their two receivers – Derek Pilkington and Shane Gertner are good athletes. It’s going to be a challenge.” Squire has thrown for more than 1,800 yards with 30 touchdowns this year. Pilkington, the Tigers’ main receiver, has 46 catches for 846 yards. Gertner has 874 yards in 35 receptions.When it comes to the championship game, Alderson’s looking to raise the gold trophy at the end of the day. But, he’ll remember his teammates the most.”I love being out there with the guys, and the adrenaline rush. There’s nothing better in life,” he said. “We’re brothers, playing football together. It’s like going to war with your best friends.””I love being out there with the guys, and the adrenaline rush. There’s nothing better in life,” he said. “We’re brothers, playing football together. It’s like going to war with your best friends.”


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