Rocky Rauman, Rifle roll
RIFLE – The best place to gauge the emotion of a football team is on the sidelines. And for one night, Rifle High’s bench, not Disneyland, was the happiest place in the world.By Phil SandovalPost Independent Staff
RIFLE – The best place to gauge the emotion of a football team is on the sidelines. And for one night, Rifle High’s bench, not Disneyland, was the happiest place in the world.As the final moments of Rifle’s 33-0 win over Battle Mountain wound down, there were smiles on every Bears player’s face, and renewed confidence heading into next week’s Class 3A playoff game at Florence.”I think we’ve got the momentum back,” running back Rocky Rauman said.”The kids are feeling real good about themselves,” Rifle coach Darrel Gorham added. “They’ve worked hard all season.”And Rauman, one of the Bears’ leaders, worked hard to earn an early rest Thursday night.
Before exiting early in the third quarter with the rest of Rifle’s starters, Rauman scored three touchdowns against the Huskies’ leaky defense. The senior back didn’t score the first touchdown of the game. Jordan Robinson got that honor, with a 16-yard run in the Rifle’s first offensive series.Rauman took over afterwards.His first touchdown, a 3-yard run, came after the Bears blocked a Battle Mountain punt. But his best moment of the evening was his 70-yard TD run in the second quarter, which gave the Bears a 21-0 lead and put the game away.”The only thing I was worried about was getting caught from behind,” Rauman said.Not a problem.
After shucking off the first wave of Huskies tacklers, Rauman completed the run to the end zone untouched beyond Battle Mountain’s 35-yard line.Then, in the third quarter, what turned out to be Rauman’s final carry in his last game at Bears Stadium, he struck gold. His 13-yard score capped the Bears’ first offensive drive of the second half for the final score.From then on, the task of earning a shutout was the responsibility of the Bears subs. Battle Mountain nearly got on the board but missed a 34-yard field goal as the clock wound down.Rifle finished the regular season with a Western Slope record of 5-3 (7-3 overall), while Battle Mountain dropped to 0-8 (2-8).Rifle finished the regular season with a Western Slope record of 5-3 (7-3 overall), while Battle Mountain dropped to 0-8 (2-8).
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