Rifle Wins Game and a Chance to Remain League Champs

The Bears accomplished a few things with its 20-13 victory over Glenwood Springs on Friday. First and foremost, Rifle assured itself of a playoff berth in the 16 team Colorado 3A bracket. Next, with the win over the Demons, the Bears are also still very much alive in the hunt for at least a share of a 4th consecutive West Slope League Championship. Finally, with the win, Rifle’s seniors completed a 4 year sweep over the Demons, the first senior class to accomplish this since the graduating class of 2004.

Playoff Seeding Possibilities

The Colorado High School Activities Association released the Week 9 football wild card points on Sunday. The Bears are currently in 7th place in the wild card standings. According to CHSAA rules, the six teams in 3A who win their league championship are guaranteed a top 8 seed and a home playoff game. The last two home playoff seeds are given to the next two schools with the highest Wild Card points. This means that Rifle is hoping for a win over Summit this Friday combined with a Delta win over Palisade. This would give the Bears the league championship outright and the home playoff game that comes with it.

If Palisade beats Delta, the Bears and the Bulldogs would be tied in the league standings and share a league championship for the second year in a row. Palisade, however, would be seeded over Rifle in the bracket, due to the Bulldogs head-to-head win over the Bears earlier this month. If Palisade gets the automatic top 8 bid, Rifle would need their final wild card points to be high enough to beat out a few other contenders in order to get a first-round home playoff game.

Leyton Stutsman runs for daylight through a group of Glenwood tacklers during Friday night's win.
Leyton Stutsman runs for daylight through a group of Glenwood tacklers during Friday night’s win.

The Bears, the Conifer Lobos, the Holy Family Tigers and the Discovery Canyon Thunder all are possibly in contention for the final two spots in the top 8. Conifer could knock the Bears out of the top 8 if the Lobos take care of business over 0-9 Arvada, and if the Lobos’ 4 non-conference foes from earlier in the season all have wins in Week 10. Holy Family would be ahead of the Bears in points with a win over league-foe Northridge. If undefeated Discovery Canyon loses to a tough Canyon City Tigers team on Friday, the Tigers would win the Southern league, jump into the top 8, and force the Thunder to settle for one of the two at large spots.

So who should Rifle fans root for? You might want to wear more green than usual this week because a Delta win gives Rifle a Top 8 seed and makes all the other possibilities moot. If Delta is defeated, you will want Arvada, Vista Peak, Mead, Fort Collins, Northridge, and Discovery Canyon to win.

Read and Watch More

Photos: Rifle at Glenwood Springs, 2014 – GSPI
Rifle stays in the league-title chase – GSPI
‘Dogs pull out all stops to beat Devils – GJ Sentinel
Fast start keeps Delta in 4A playoff hunt – GJ Sentinel
QB Stutsman lifts Rifle past Glenwood – GJ Sentinel
Week 9 Wildcard Points Announced – westernslopenow.com (Ch. 5)
Friday Night Frenzy: Week 9 – westernslopenow.com (Ch. 5)
Paul Cloud’s Photos of Rifle vs. Glenwood
Friday Night Blitz: Week Nine – KJCT8.com
Rifle vs. Glenwood Springs Video Highlights – Colorado Preps Network
Longmont, Windsor join final 4A football rankings – CHSAANOW.com
Football’s Week 9 Wild Card Points standings – CHSAANOW.com
Hear and Now: Rifle DL still solid contributor despite hearing loss – GSPI