Rifle snuffs Delta, 39-0
Assistant Sports Editor
RIFLE ” Homecoming was a perfect setting for Rifle to pin a shutout on an opponent. The Bears 39-0 win over Delta looked a lot like recent football games to those in stands Friday night.
And it felt that way too.
A powerful running game, led by the one-two punch of Bryce Enewold and Hazen Moss produced five of Rifle’s six touchdowns.
Then the Bears defense took up the challenge and hung a zero on the scoreboard for an overmatched Panther squad who trailed from the first minute to the final buzzer.
First-year Rifle coach Damon Wells said the key for the 2-2 Bears (2-1 Class 3A, Western Slope Conference) was a matter of execution.
“We talk to our kids all of the time that we don’t play for scores. We play to execute what we do. For the first time tonight, the kids did that consistently.”
It took all of two plays for Rifle’s gears to mesh.
Grabbing a hand-off from quarterback Tyler Gosh, Moss zoomed by Delta’s front-line defense, into the open field, for a 52-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead that set the pace early.
“Hazen’s been getting better every week and for him to break that big run, that meant a lot for us as coaches and a lot to him, because he earned that.”
Used mostly in the first half, Moss finished as the game’s leading rusher with 96 yards in eight carries.
In the second quarter Rifle extended their lead to 14-0 on a 69-yard, Gose-to-Bryce Enewold throw-and-run TD.
Then Moss ripped off another big chunk of yards to get the Bears inside Delta’s 10, which lead to Rifle’s third score.
Enewold ran the final four yards of a nine-play, 59-yard drive to take a 21-0 advantage with more than eight and-half minutes prior to the Homecoming celebration.
But, the Bears senior wideout wasn’t finished yet.
With 29 seconds left, he took a pitch from Moss from the right side, then scampered the other way, going well beyond the 26 yards needed to slide into the end zone to go up 28-0.
Tyler Thompson and Gose scored on runs of 17 and 1 yards in the third quarter to complete the rout, and allow Wells to put the subs in the game for most of the final period.
Rifle defensive Timmy Long was shining in the second half. The junior preserved the shutout with a pair of interceptions, both off Delta backup QB Kevin Osborne.
Long’s catch of an errant Osborne pass at the Bears 19 broke up the Panthers serious offensive threat of the game.
Again, the Bears effort all came down to execution, in Wells’ opinion.
“(Assistant) coaches Alfonso Alfini and Tim Lenard had a great defensive plan. But, more important than their plan, the kids believed in it. They didn’t have any doubt and they made plays.”
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The Coal Ridge High boys suffered their first 3A Western Slope League loss of the year Thursday night on the road at Gunnison, falling to the defending league champion Cowboys 65-45.