Rifle outlast Battle Mountain
EAGLE-VAIL – Both Rifle and Battle Mountain got what they wanted out of Friday night’s game at Phelan Field.Rifle (6-4 overall and 6-2 in the 3A Slope) got its third consecutive win, a 26-13 victory over the Huskies, to generate some momentum for the playoffs. Having been outscored 77-0 in the last two years against the Bears, Battle Mountain (2-8, 1-7) played a solid game agaainst the Bears and finished the fourth quarter with two scores.”It was good to end the season with three consecutive victories,” Rifle coach Damon Wells said. “It’s good the kids are rewarded with that. … We could finish second. We could finish third. We could finish fourth. I just need the scores.”Well, Coach, here you go – Moffat County 30, Montezuma-Cortez 20 and Steamboat Springs 10, Glenwood Springs 0. That means Rifle finishes fourth in the Slope and is at Northridge, 19-7 winner over Niwot Friday night.That having been said Rifle won the state title out of the fourth spot last year.”I told the guys we aren’t defending anything,” Wells said. “We’re going out to to get another one. That’s how we approach it.”Rifle’s approach to Battle Mountain was very simple and effective – give the ball to Colby McFarlin and Tyler Thompson. McFarlin ran the ball 20 times for 100 yards, while Thompson bulled his way for 55 yars on 13 touches, including three touchdowns.”It was great,” Thompson said. “Everybody laid it out there and did a good job.”On Rifle’s second possession, quarterback Tyler Gose called his own number for 39 yards and six – the PAT was no good.In the second quarter Rifle marched nine plays for 65 yards and a touchdown. The key play of the drive was a halfback option from Bryce Enewald to Andrew Schmidt for 47 yards. Thompson finishes the drive with a 5-yard rumble. The Bears led, 20-0, at the half after another drive that had a lot of McFarlin and Thompson. The latter scored with 1:41 left in the half.The Bears chewed up most of the third quarter and the early part of the fourth with a 16-play march. And in a shocking development, Thompson scored the final touchdown on that drive.”We were pretty efficient moving the ball,” Wells said. “We certainly would have liked to have put more points on the board.”Battle Mountain rallied late as Travis Landauer, who led all rushers with 127 yards on 16 carries, went 27 yards for a touchdown. The Huskies recovered the onside kick and found the end zone again on a 45-yard pass from Mike Janssen to Todd Walker.”It’s a shame that we run ijnto a buzzsaw at the end of the season with Palisade and Rifle,” Huskies coach Pat Engle said. “You’ve got the two defending state champions from the last two years. When you give up 52 points, most people think that’s in one game, not combined against both of them. We’ve just gotten so much better and so much tougher.”
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The Rifle and Glenwood Springs girls tangled on Tuesday night at Glenwood’s Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium in a 4A Western Slope League contest that carried major implications in the conference standings.