RIFLE – Rifle Excessive College soccer has confronted nice assessments thus far this season. Harmful groups, like Glenwood Springs, Moffat County and Delta.
Excluding the Panthers, each recreation in opposition to these groups for Rifle has led to a slender loss by landing or much less. Throughout that point, the Bears have crushed groups like Brush and Montezuma-Cortez.
“It is most likely the longest problem I’ve confronted with a group,” Rifle head coach Ryan Whittington mentioned.
On Friday evening, the Bears needed to face one other powerhouse: undefeated Basalt. Though the Longhorns received, it was by a conservative differential of 22-7.
Whittington mentioned his group, for essentially the most half, performed disciplined soccer. If it hadn’t been for a number of huge performs made by Basalt, it may need been a unique ball recreation.
“It was three video games distinction within the recreation, and typically it’s a must to cease these video games so you will get a bit nearer,” he mentioned. “However we’ll watch the tape, we’ll study from it and we’ll enhance.”
The same old suspects had been there for the Longhorns. Basalt operating again Cooper Crawford — a 6-foot-3, 220-pound senior who additionally performs linebacker — was good for a landing at 6:39 of the second quarter.
Longhorns senior quarterback Kade Schneider then linked with stalwart senior receiver Luke Rapaport for an 18-yard landing catch.
Longhorns senior Will Keating additionally scored three area objectives.
Basalt head coach Carl Frerichs mentioned his youngsters performed their hearts out.
“I believe Coach (Mitch) Levy and Coach (Clayton) Peetz did a tremendous job on offense,” he mentioned. “I simply assume our children are flying, enjoying soccer.”
However tip your hat to the Rifle Protection. They held off Basalt’s highly effective offense on a area aim on the sport’s first drive. In addition they kicked the Longhorns a number of occasions all through the evening.
Each time Crawford acquired the ball, it felt like the complete Bears line was above him. Each time Schneider backed as much as go, his receivers had been properly lined and he was compelled to throw himself on the sidelines.
Rifle major operating again Nicholas Saldivar rewarded his protection. At 11:31 within the second quarter, Saldivar took a stint from his personal 27-yard line, fought his well past a crowd of Longhorns, and sprinted for a 73-yard landing run.
“It was superb, man,” Whittington mentioned of Saldivar’s play. “Nico made an amazing minimize, the O line did an amazing job of blocking and he was busy on the sidelines.”
Down 9-7, the Bears had an opportunity to take the lead. After forcing a Longhorns punt, they might run down the sphere to the Basalt 32-yard line. However an offensive name to the Bears took them away from the tip zone.
Making one other push early within the fourth quarter, Bears junior quarterback Logan Gross was intercepted by Longhorns scholar second Taylor Hays. It might have simply led to a landing if Bears major receiver Brandon Marques hadn’t been picked.
The loss makes the Bears 2-4 total and 0-2 within the league. They presently sit in fifth place in League 6 Class 2A, whereas Basalt sits on the high.
However the Bears nonetheless have a shot at preventing for playoff glory. They are going to face Aspen, Grand Valley and Coal Ridge to shut out the ultimate three video games of the common season.
“Proper now we’re sitting twelfth and simply misplaced to an undefeated group, so your (scores energy index) is not going to harm a lot,” Whittington mentioned. “The truth is that I believe if you happen to win these three video games, you are in.
“However we have now to verify we stick collectively, do the correct issues, keep optimistic and hold working onerous to be the perfect we might be.”
Basalt, now 6-0 and ranked No. 4 in 2A final week, is getting ready for a recreation with a league group 5-1 on combination, 2-0 in Moffat County subsequent week at Craig. The Bulldogs are led by senior operating again Evan Atkin.
“They do an amazing job there. (Atkin) is a hell of a participant,” Frerichs mentioned. “However we will take pleasure in this recreation tonight and put together for Moffat tomorrow. However we’re joyful to be there for the league championship subsequent week.
Rifle subsequent performs Friday in Aspen. The Skiers misplaced Friday at dwelling to Grand Valley, 29-7, to fall to 2-4 total and 1-1 within the league.
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