Rifle High QB named WSL Back of the Year | PostIndependent.com
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Rifle High QB named WSL Back of the Year

Joelle MilholmGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

After two years of season-ending knee injuries, Hazen Moss finally got the chance to play the dream season he’d hoped for the Rifle Bears football team. The Bear quarterback, who is also one of the team’s top rushers, was justly rewarded for his efforts as he was recently named the Western Slope League Back of the Year by WSL coaches.Moss lead his squad in touchdowns this season, rushing for or passing for almost 20. He also threw for over 800 yards in the air and was close to 800 on the ground. The quick-footed, nifty-move maker posed a constant threat for opposing teams as his scrambling and fast decision making kept them guessing.If anyone deserved the honor in the WSL this year, it was Moss. After being a star prospect, two anterior cruciate ligament tears, one at the beginning of the 2005 season and one at the start of 2006, Moss finally got his shot this season.Prior to this year, the mohawked senior had only played three and a half varsity games. This year, he was a difference-maker in all 11 of the Bears games. He helped Rifle qualify for a postseason spot and almost led the No. 16-seed Bears (5-6) in an upset bid of No. 1 Falcon, before the Bears fell 24-21.Moss, who was joined on the WSL first team by senior Bear lineman Justin Stone, wasn’t the only area selection to gather in a top honor, as Glenwood Springs head coach Rocky Whitworth also came away as a winner. The fourth-year coach took coach of the year honors after guiding the Demons to a 10-0 undefeated regular season and WSL Title.Whitworth was also named a Denver Post Coach of the Week after Glenwood came back to beat Palisade, 34-21, on Oct. 5. Whitworth, who’s coached for 30 years and who guided Roaring Fork to a title in 1977, has been known to develop struggling programs and get them to the playoffs. He did it with Grandview in Aurora and did it over the last four years in Glenwood.The Demons were the No. 2 seed in the playoffs, but fell in a heartbreaking overtime upset to Sterling in the first round. Whitworth coached a team full of talent, which was reflected by the Demon’s seven WSL first team selections – the most in the league.Topping the list was star quarterback Dakota Stonehouse, who completed 148 of 232 passes for 2,341 yards and 31 touchdowns. The junior also rushed for over 666 yards and scored an additional 17 TDs.Stonehouse was joined on the list by senior lineman/linebacker Ryan Montover, senior lineman Tyler Rossow, senior lineman/linebacker Nick Croissant, junior wide receiver/defensive back/punter Connor Riley, junior lineman/linebacker Keenan Hartert, and junior wide receiver/defensive back/kicker/kick and punt returner Kevin Screen.Glenwood’s Jordan Ciani, Michael Hudson, Taylor Larson, Alex McPherson, Lance Tsosie and Aaron Zancanella received honorable mention as did Rifle’s Drew Blatchford, Tyler Chapman, Tad Davis, Corey King, Daniel Maldonado, Clayton Spillane.


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