What will it take for a Rifle win?
Ron Milhorn, radio broadcaster:”The first thing you have to do as a coach is approach this game just like any other. The last thing you want to do is throw new wrinkles in there for the last game of the season.”If Florence scores first, they can’t panic. They have been running the ball well and they need to do the same things they’ve been doing.”They need to approach this week just like any other. If you get too excited, and too psyched, then you loose your cool and lose your focus. I think you have to approach this game in a business like matter, celebrate and be emotional after.”Matt Hauptly, Roaring Fork head coach who, led the Rams to a 54-34 win over Rifle earlier this season:”Basically, Florence is a very physical team and Rifle needs to match their physicality from the get-go. They need to get the ball into Bryce Enewold’s hands as much as possible. They also need to pass just enough to keep Florence honest. I think Rifle will win by three.”Former Rifle head football coach Gordon Cooper (Coached Rifle to the 1973 title):”They have been so tenacious this year. They never give up. One thing they have been able to do is get a lot of yardage on first down, then they can do whatever they want to do and need to do. If they do the same thing this week, they will be successful.”Quotes: see page A21Former Roaring Fork head coach and current assistant coach Tory Jensen:”They need to continue to be multiple offensively and need to control and take care of the football. On defense, Rifle needs stop (quarterback) Jeremy Young. He runs the option well and he’s the best player I’ve seen in 2A or 3A football this year.”Todd Ellis, current Dean of Students and former Rifle football assistant coach:”The team’s success all starts with (head coach) Damon Wells. Working with new coaches with no experience and losing 21 seniors, he’s done a tremendous job. Unlike most fourth-seeded teams from the league, instead of playing not to lose, this team plays to win. That’s what they have to do this weekend.”Mike Samson, long-time Rifle football public address announcer & Dean of Students:”What impresses me about these kids is even though they lost 20-plus seniors, they have stepped up to the challenge of playing and executing as a team. There’s no all-star, no great athlete … they’re just a solid bunch of kids who have worked together extremely hard. What they have to do against Florence is continue to execute as they have in the past.”Rocky Whitworth, Glenwood Springs football head coach”Once you get into the playoffs anything can happen. I think ball control and turnovers will be key factors and weather could be a big factor in this game. Rifle has shown to be a real machine in their ways and I think they will do well.”John Alderidge, Palisade head coach, who led the Bulldogs to a 20-0 win over Rifle during the regular season, then lost to Florence 41-0 in the second round of the playoffs:”Florence is the best 3A team I’ve seen. They’ve got incredible athletes and a great coaching staff – just like Rifle. Rifle will have to play a really good game and control the ball. I’ve played both teams, but we beat Rifle 20-0 and lost 41-0 to Florence if that puts things in perspective. I think it will be a good game, I hope it will be a good game. I am going for Rifle because they are in our league and I think that whoever wins is going to deserve it.”
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