Rifle, Rauman rock Steamboat, 35-7
RIFLE – Rocky Rauman described his five-touchdown night against Steamboat Springs as “kind of blurry”. That figures.It was how most everyone in attendance at Rifle’s 35-7 conference win saw the senior running back. Especially the Sailors.Rauman, given gaping holes by Travis Jensen, Jeff Zimmerman, Andrew Stone and the rest of Rifle’s offensive line, whizzed through Steamboat’s flawed defense for 265 yards in 31 carries to go 3-0 (2-0 Western Slope Conference) on the year.
Bears coach Darrel Gorham said execution was the key factor in Rifle’s blowout victory.”The biggest thing was we didn’t fumble the ball tonight,” the coach said. “Anytime you have no turnovers you see long drives. And defenses get tired when you keep going at them like we were.”By the end of the first quarter, Steamboat’s defense was running on fumes.Except for one play, which the Sailors fumbled the ball away, Rifle had control.In between, the Bears reeled off TD-producing drives of 15 and 12 plays, culminated by Rauman scoring runs of 1 and 10 yards.
“Steamboat runs a 3-5 defense. It’s kind of different from some of the others we see,” Gorham said. “We thought we had a pretty good game plan going in. We stuck to it. The offensive line executed it real well and we ended up breaking some big runs.”Up 14-0, Rauman provided the game’s biggest run – a 56-yard score – early in the second quarter.Operating from Rifle’s 44 after a Steamboat punt, Rauman bolted through a huge gap at the line of scrimmage into an open field vacated by the Sailor secondary that sealed the win.The touchdown – Rauman’s third in the first half – put Rifle up 21-0 with 10 minutes, 8 seconds left. Prior to intermission, Rauman added his fourth score, a 1-yard run, set up by Bear defensive back Tyler Goose’s interception.As the offense clicked, Rifle’s defense was just as good.
The Bears forced two Steamboat into two first-half turnovers, converting both into touchdowns, while limiting the Sailors to 3 yards of total offense.Rifle added their final score – a 20-yard Rauman run – with 3:41 left in the third quarter. Steamboat posted its only points of the game afterwards on receiver Daniel Colloquia’s 7-yard TD catch from quarterback Tyler Fosdick in the fourth period. Rifle’s 2-0 conference mark keeps the Bears in first-place tie with Palisade and Moffat County, winners of their respective WSC games this week.The Bears continue conference play Friday at Delta.
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Area prep basketball teams begin their 2019-20 campaigns with tournament action both home and away this weekend.