Rifle rides Moeller’s 323 rushing yards to 28-0 win

RIFLE—No one was more surprised by the final score of Friday night’s game at Bears Stadium than Damon Wells.

“Absolutely surprised,” the Rifle High School football coach said after the top-ranked Bears beat rival Glenwood Springs 28-0.

“They’re phenomenally well-coached and always prepare their kids well. I never in a million years would have thought we’d go into that game against that staff and win by four touchdowns.”

Senior running back Ryan Moeller finished with 323 rushing yards on 33 carries with three touchdowns for the Bears (3-0 overall, 2-0 Class 3A Western Slope Conference), who won the rivalry game for the second consecutive year. But unlike the previous three years when the game was close at the end, Rifle took control early against Glenwood (0-3, 0-2) and never let up.

“They’re a very good team and very well-coached,” said Moeller, who is now only 11 yards from passing the plateau of 1,000 rushing yards for the season. “I think it was just a case where everything went right for us tonight.”

Moeller got some help from Kellin Leigh, who finished with 49 yards on 12 carries to help lighten the load on Rifle’s workhorse running back.

The Bears’ defense, meanwhile, buckled down and didn’t allow the Demons’ offense to get going until the end of the game.

That still didn’t matter, as Glenwood’s 21-play, 96-yard drive stalled at Rifle’s 3 in the fourth quarter after the Bears had already gone up by the final margin of victory. Travis Lundin completed 20 of 30 passes for 209 yards and an interception, and he got a 12-catch, 131-yard performance from wide receiver Auston Tribble.

After the Demons’ drive to open the game stalled, Moeller scored on the Bears’ fourth play from scrimmage with a 50-yard TD jaunt that put Rifle up 7-0 after Marco Gutierrez’s point-after kick. The Bears forced a three-and-out on Glenwood’s next series, and Rifle followed with a nine-play, 77-yard scoring drive capped by Moeller’s 1-yard plunge.

Rifle’s defense forced another three-and-out, and Leigh capped Rifle’s next scoring drive with a five-yard TD scamper to put Rifle up 21-0 at halftime. Moeller’s 74-yard scoring run late in the third quarter capped the scoring, then Rifle’s defense preserved the shutout.

“Since I’ve been in high school, I don’t think we’ve had a game like this,” Rifle linebacker Cody Beauford said. “Still, I don’t feel like we’ve played our best game yet.”


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