Roaring Fork ends regular season undefeated
CARBONDALE – Some of the Roaring Fork starters got a little rest in the Rams’ regular-season finale Friday, but the scorekeeper was as busy as ever.
Roaring Fork finished the season with a perfect 9-0 record (7-0 conference), dispatching Cedaredge 41-0 in a Class 2A Western Slope Conference contest here. Cedaredge finishes the season 3-6 (3-4 WSC).
“Our defense went off,” Roaring Fork head coach Tory Jensen said. “Basically we got a short porch a bunch of times and that put points on the board.”
Aaron Markham led the defensive effort on a unit that seems to have a different star each week.
Markham forced a fumble, blocked a punt and had an interception in the game.
“It’s been defense by committee all year,” Jensen said.
“We don’t have anybody in the top 50 in tackles, it’s just an unbelievable group effort.”
Quarterback Dan Markoya took advantage of the advantageous field position to connect for three touchdown passes, two of which found the hands of Nate Cheney.
Rams’ running back James Leonard saw limited action and fell short of the 100-yard mark for the first time this season, but sophomore Christian Tena filled in admirably with more than 100 yards rushing.
The Roaring Fork players and coaches have a day to relish the WSC league title and perfect regular season, but they’ll have to ratchet up the intensity if their success is to extend into the postseason.
Roaring Fork faces La Junta (6-3, 5-2), the No. 3 team from the Tri-Peaks Conference, in the first round of the state tournament.
Rifle 35, Cortez 12
RIFLE – Troy Weiss had touchdown runs of 25, 1, and 9 yards in a 35-12 win over Montezuma-Cortez in a Class 3A Western Slope Conference game at Bears’ Stadium Friday.
The victory keeps Rifle’s (6-3 overall, 3-2 WSC) hopes alive for a state playoff spot heading into next Friday’s home game with Glenwood Springs.
The Bears took a 21-0 lead by the end of the first quarter on running back Weiss’ two scores and quarterback Kyle Sanderson’s 25-yard touchdown pass to Zack LaCount with 32 seconds left.
Rifle raised the score to 28-0 in the second period on a Weiss 1-yard run and Sanderson’s extra point with 10:28 remaining.
Wide receiver J.R. Childress scored the Bears last touchdown on a 5-yard reception from Sanderson with 5:13 left in the third quarter.
Heading into the final week of the regular season, Rifle is one game behind second-place Moffat County and Palisade. Both teams have 4-1 Conference records.
Steamboat Springs (5-1, 8-1 overall) leads the WSC after defeating Palisade in Steamboat, 22-12, Friday.
A win by Rifle over Glenwood, combined with a Palisade loss to Steamboat would vault the Bears into third place and a guaranteed playoff berth. A loss means Rifle has to contend with the No. 4 team from the Tri-Valley Conference, the No. 5 finisher in the Southern Conference and the No. 6 team out of the Denver Metropolitan Conference for the wild card spot.
Paonia 24, Grand Valley 0
PARACHUTE – The Grand Valley Cardinals kept the first place Eagles off the scoreboard in the first half of Friday’s game, but couldn’t stop Paonia in the second half.
The Eagles’ Trevor Morley broke the scoreless tie with an 11-yard run in the third quarter and Paonia rolled to a 24-0 win. The Eagles (8-1, 6-1) added to their lead when Chase Roeber hit Levi Heinritz with a 25-yard TD pass later in the period.
Morley scored from 11 yards out again in the fourth stanza. Tyler Abshire had Paonia’s final TD with a 7-yard run.
Meeker’s 33-8 victory on Saturday at Plateau Valley puts Grand Valley (4-5, 3-4) in a three-way tie for fourth place and the last state playoff spot available to teams in the 1A Western Slope Conference.
The Cardinals along with Oak Creek, Soroco and Plateau Valley will play in a California tie-breaker with the state playoff berth on the line at 5 p.m., Monday at Meeker High School.
Hotchkiss 42, Basalt 0
BASALT – Clayton Peetz ran for team-high 184 yards on 26 carries, but the Basalt Longhorns came up short in a 42-0 loss to Hotchkiss in their final game of the season.
Basalt finishes with a record of 3-6 overall and 2-5 in the Class 2A Western Slope Conference, in a sixth-place tie with Olathe.
The Longhorn football team’s three victories this year is the school’s best record since restarting the program at the varsity level five years ago.
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Rifle High School wrestling won its matchup with Glenwood Springs Tuesday at the Glenwood triangular, while the Palisade Bulldogs took down both local teams.