Rifle football puts away Salida, 63-6
Toto Flechall scores five touchdowns; Broc Caldwell nabs pick-6
Bears senior Bryce Rowley picked up a quarterback sack nearly midway through the first quarter. The next play, with Salida deep in their own zone and desperate for yards, junior Broc Caldwell intercepted a pass made by a pressured Spartans freshman quarterback in Caiven Lake and took it in for the score.
No. 3 Rifle’s 63-6 thumping over No. 8 Salida (0-4) on Friday night was riddled a steady string of heavy-hitting defensive plays that kept the Bears in ideal field position all game. Meanwhile, the pistons of key Bears rushers in junior Toto Fletchall and senior Embrey Marantino were too much to bear for Salida defenders.
“We’re a young team and we’ve got a lot of work to do and we’ve just got to keep working,” Bears head coach Todd Casebier said. “We had a good week of practice and that’s where it starts. Obviously Salida’s out-manned and they’re young also.”
Following an opening drive touchdown executed via fake handoff to Salida’s Brewer Matthews and ensuing long run made by Lake, Rifle answered right back with a run of their own.
At the 8:45 mark, Fletchall took a hand off and blew past the Spartans’ secondary for a 28-yard score. Following a successful point-after attempt, the Bears took the lead, 7-6.
After the sweet sack, pick-six plays made by Rowley and Caldwell, Fletchall would later in the quarter pick up his second rushing touchdown on the night. At 2:51, he again engaged the jets, working his way up field for a 22-yard score.
As the Bears controlled a 21-6 lead, Lake would drop back in the pocket and fake a pass. The fib didn’t fool Rowley, however, as he wrapped up Lake for his second sack on the night. The defensive attrition led Salida to punt and eventually another Bears touchdown on the ensuing drive.
This time the Bears found success in their aerial attack. Junior starting quarterback Trey Caldwell dropped back and heaved it to sophomore receiver Kade Bishop, who adjusted in single coverage to snag it and turn it up the sidelines for a 40-yard score.
Later in the second quarter, Marantino collected his first touchdown of the night on a rush from Salida’s 41 yard line. The score and successful PAT would put Rifle up 35-6, with 8:37 to play in the first half.
At the 3:45 mark, Fletchall scored his third touchdown on the night via run from the 42-yard line.
A few minutes later, Fletchall scored his fourth touchdown of the night after picking up a fortuitous fumble made by teammate Peyton Prettyman in the red zone.
The Bears would then head into halftime up 49-6.
Rifle came out in the second half and secured two more touchdowns to lock in the win. At 9:20 in the third quarter, Prettyman ran it in for his first score of the night.
With 1:30 to go in the frame, Fletchall ran the ball in for a short score in the red zone. It marked his fifth touchdown on the night.
Rifle (3-1), coming off a big 38-7 loss to No. 2-ranked Basalt (3-1), gets ready to travel eastbound on Interstate 70 to take on Glenwood Springs at 7 p.m. April 16.
The now No. 1-ranked Demons (4-0) beat Basalt, 21-14, Friday night.
“We’ve got to have heck of a lot better week than we had against Basalt, that’s the first thing,” Casebier said. “Second thing, we’ve got to play our style. We had guys doing their own thing against Basalt. So were going to play team football against Glenwood, and that’s what the situation demands… They’ve got a good football team.”
AROUND THE COUNTY
Grand Valley (2-2) beat Roaring Fork (0-4) in Parachute, 37-0; and, Coal Ridge topped Montezuma-Cortez on the road, 33-16.
Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or email@example.com
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Grace Wesseling is an animal lover, a cheerleader of seven years and another soon-to-be graduate of Bridges High School, class of 2021.