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Photo Credits: Paul Cloud Photography

Rifle 15 Roosevelt 0

The match-up was more than familiar. The Rifle Bears and the Roosevelt Rough Riders had already met in two of the last three years (2011, 2012) in the post-season with Rifle winning both games. In fact, had Rifle held on to their early 17-0 lead over the Coronado Cougars last year, the Rough Riders would have been the Bears’ next opponent in the 2013 playoff bracket.

Rifle’s wins over Roosevelt in 2011 (14-7) and 2012 (48-34) both came at Bears’ Stadium on Saturdays with decent weather conditions.

2014 would be decidedly different.

The game was held in Johnstwown in the eye of a major Colorado snowstorm. While other playoff match-ups around the state were played amid cold temperatures and some flurries, the Rifle-Roosevelt game took place in a true blizzard. Snow covered the field and not a down was played without waves of snowflakes falling from the sky.

Blaine Vance Running the Ball

Both teams had scoring opportunities early in the game. Rifle’s first drive ended inside Roosevelt’s 10 yard line after a fumble. Roosevelt’s ensuing drive made it all the way to the Rifle 1 yard line before the Rough Riders returned the favor with a fumble of their own.

The Bears had a chance to score just before half after Leyton Stutsman blocked a punt and Alex Gould fell on the ball deep in Rough Rider territory. Roosevelt held the Bears to a field goal attempt as the half expired and the poor conditions caused the kick to fall well short of the goal post.

Alex Gould Recovers a Blocked Punt

The game remained a scoreless stalemate until the fourth quarter. Rifle had moved the ball all game long but had turned the ball over repeatedly in Roosevelt territory. With nine minutes left in the game, Ty Leyba finally broke loose on a 12 yard touchdown run and Brock Clark’s 2 point conversion posted an 8-0 Bears lead. It was just a single touchdown but it was a huge confidence-builder for the Bears’ sideline. The run by Leyba is our RCR Performance Playoff Performance of the Game (video below) for the quarterfinal round of the playoffs.

RCR Performance Playoff Performance of the Game

Roosevelt’s next drive ended in a punt. On the Bears’ next offensive series, Brock Clark ended the suspense with a touchdown run that upped the score to 15-0 with just 3 minutes left. Cody Rice’s interception ended Roosevelt’s final drive and the Bears’ were able to run out the clock.

Sweet Shut-Out

  • The final score marked the ninth playoff shutout in Rifle football history, the last being a 42-0 win over Erie in 2012.
  • The game was the Bears’ second shut-out in 2014 after Rifle beat the Central Warriors 49-0 in early October.
  • Despite the three quarters of tension and suspense, the 15 point victory was the largest margin that the Bears have enjoyed in any of the three playoff contests with Roosevelt.

Rifle vs. Roosevelt Slideshow – Photos by Paul Cloud

[slideshow type=”nivo” width=”550″ height=”367″]


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