Rifle opens 3A state playoffs at home
The bitterness from last year’s first round state playoff loss to Valley has stuck in the Rifle football team’s craw since the 2002 season began in August.
Eleven weeks later, the Bears finally get their chance to purge themselves of that blot.
This weekend, 10-0 Rifle, the two-time defending Western Slope Conference champion, open the Class 3A state playoffs at home against Fountain-Fort Carson (7-3), the No. 4 team out of the Southern Conference.
The date and time of the playoff game will be mutually agreed on by the two schools today.
According to the Colorado High School Activities Association, all first-round playoff games must be played by Nov. 9.
The Bears completed their first-ever undefeated season with a 40-23 win over Glenwood Springs on Friday at the Demons’ Stubler Memorial Field.
Fountain finished the regular season on a down note.
The Trojans, who will be making their first post-season appearance since 1998, dropped a 20-10 decision to playoff-bound Alamosa on Friday.
The winner of the Rifle-Fountain game faces the winner of the Northridge (7-3) or Elizabeth (8-2) game in the quarterfinals.
Quarterfinal games will be held the following weekend, followed by the semifinals on Nov. 23.
The 3A state championship game is scheduled to be played on Nov. 30.
Since Northridge and Rifle open with home playoff games, should both advance, the game’s location will be determined by a coin flip.
If Rifle wins and the Metro Conference Cardinals should trip their Tri-Valley Conference opponents, the Bears will be on the road.
According to CHSAA football playoff rules regarding which team receives home field advantage after the first round, the home team between schools shall be the school which has has the fewer number of home games throughout the state playoffs.
Afterwards, if both teams have had an equal number of home playoff games, the CHSAA will determine the site with a coin flip.
Ticket prices for all first round and succeeding games up to the state champion are $6 for adults and $4 for students K through 12th grade and seniors 60 years and above.
In other 3A playoff games involving WSC schools, No. 2 Palisade faces Alamosa on Friday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction.
Moffat County, the No. 3 team out of the WSC, travels to Pueblo County (9-1) for its first-round contest.
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I have read every book that Mitch Albom has written, most of them more than once.